Texas family court judges tend to lean toward granting divorcing spouses joint legal custody of their minor children. However, they usually award physical custody to one parent and visitation to the other.
Unfortunately, a healthy co-parenting arrangement may dissolve if your former spouse develops an addiction after the custody hearing.
Signs that your ex-spouse may have a substance abuse problem
A substance abuse problem can develop slowly, but knowing what it looks like can help you take action to minimize its impact on your children. These are among the signs that something may be off.
- Your child does not want to talk about a visit with the other parent
- Your child innocently mentions the other parent’s strange behavior
- Your ex-spouse exhibits personality and behavior changes
- Your ex-spouse’s finances improve or diminish drastically
- Your child has bruises and other injuries
- Your spouse seems confused and unkempt
- Mutual friends observe your spouse’s unusual behavior
Steps you can take to protect your children
The first step involves confirming your suspicions. You may want to avoid questioning your children, which can make them anxious. Instead, discuss your concerns calmly with your ex-spouse. Still, when your worries persist despite your spouse’s denials or unconvincing explanations for your allegations, you can gather evidence and approach the court to suspend your spouse’s custody privileges or issue a protective order.
A judge may initiate a thorough investigation, including drug testing. During this time, your ex-spouse may visit with your children only under the court’s supervision. If a judge determines that your ex-spouse must complete a recovery program, this visitation arrangement may continue.
Co-parenting with someone you suspect has an addiction problem can be unsettling and requires you to make urgent decisions that promote your children’s well-being.