Custody Rulings and Parental Substance Abuse

Divorce and custody proceedings can be a difficult processes to endure and oftentimes, they place great strain on the child(ren) involved. What makes this process even more difficult is when one parent is a substance abuser. The abuse of drugs or alcohol can significantly affect a person’s ability to function during everyday activities and may pose a dangerous risk to that person’s child(ren) if left in his or her care. As the other parent involved in this marriage or divorce with a substance abuser, there are certain legal options available to obtain custody and ensure that your children are kept safe.
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Collaboration for Co-Parents Is Key During the Summer Months

Summer break can be complex for divorced or separated parents. While children are off from school, making child custody arrangements for their daily activities or summer vacations may become problematic. It is important to remember that consistent and responsive communication will benefit all parties involved, resulting in a less complicated summer.

Here are a few tips for co-parenting in the most effective way:

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Losing Custody Due To Mental Illness

In many instances, parents suffering from mental health issues may not seek help due to the fear of losing custody of their children. In some states, a parent may lose custody of their child, if they are suffering from mental illness.

According to studies, 70 to 80 percent of parents suffering with mental illness lose custody of their children. If the parent becomes hospitalized in a psychiatric center then the children are often raised by grandparents or other relatives. Those without extended family are placed in foster care.

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Unique Tri-Custody Case in New York

A recent New York child custody case involved the custodial rights of three parents. The child custody case involved a married couple, Dawn and Michael, who had a relationship with their neighbor, Audria. Audria and Michael had a child together. Michael and Dawn separated, and Dawn and Audria moved in together. When the child was born, the three parents worked together to raise the child.

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A Look Into New York’s First Case Under New Definition of “Parent”

The New York Times reports that the first case to test New York State’s new definition of parent is underway. On August 30, 2016 the New York Court of Appeals issued a monumental decision regarding the definition of “parent” in relation to visitation and custody determinations. The case of Brooke S.B. v. Elizabeth A. C.C., held that after a party proves “by clear and convincing evidence” that both parties had come to an agreement to conceive and raise a child together, then they will be deemed a “parent” in relation to seeking custody and visitation. Prior to the ruling, New York law held that only an adoptive or biological parent had the ability to seek custody or visitation.

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