Alcohol or Drug Abuse

California law requires the courts to consider either parent’s “habitual or continual illegal use of controlled substances.” An allegation against a parent is not enough. There must be corroborative evidence of drug or alcohol abuse and an Orange County Court can require independent corroboration which include written police or other law enforcement reports or reports from courts (in the event of criminal action), medical or rehabilitation facilities, child protective services or other social service agencies or any other private or public organization.

The Orange County Court also has the power to order the parent who has been accused of drug or alcohol abuse to undergo testing under what are generally strict conditions that ensure an accurate test and no tampering. Orange County has numerous facilities that have been court-approved.

If the judge in an Orange County case determines that a parent is engaging in “habitual, frequent, or continual illegal use of controlled substances or the habitual or continual abuse of alcohol”, the Court has the discretion to make child custody or visitation orders that eliminate or limit that parent’s contact with the child or children until the parent has engaged in recovery and can return to the Court and show his or her sobriety.

Orange County mothers and fathers have trusted us for many years with their child custody cases that have involved drugs or alcohol. This includes parents who have come to us for help and to protect their children from the other parent who has a serious drug or alcohol problem as well as those parents who have suffered from drug or alcohol abuse and are ready to make a positive change in their lives.

Farzad Family Law takes an aggressive but compassionate approach to such Orange County child custody cases. So long as the drug and alcohol abuse is not accompanied with domestic violence, child abuse or other serious criminal conduct, our effort is to temporarily suspend the addicted parent’s custody and time with the children while that parent seeks medical help and rehabilitation. For some addicts, the first time is the charm and their road to recovery becomes a permanent life style change. For others, it takes more than one attempt. Our focus is to ensure the children will be protected and unharmed and when the parent who suffers from addiction can prove to the Court he or she is no longer a danger to the kids, then a steady and progressive re-introduction of custody and visitation rights are appropriate.

When Farzad Family Law has represented the parent who suffers from the addiction, we gauge that parent’s sincerity for recovery. If the parent is simply engaging in gamesmanship, has no real motivation to become sober or refuses to take the necessary steps toward sobriety, we don’t take on the case. But if the parent is ready and willing to achieve sobriety and shows us, the Court and his or her family that through his or her conduct, we welcome the representation and represent that parent’s custody rights, aggressively and with compassion.

I look forward to hearing from you. Call or email me. Let’s talk. Let’s find solutions to your Orange County child custody case together.

Warmest Regards,

B. Robert Farzad
Orange County Divorce & Family Law Attorneys
1851 E. 1st Street, Suite 1150
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Telephone: (714) 937-1193
Facsimile: (714) 937-1192

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