Alcohol and drugs are a common cause of Children Act disputes. They can be highly contentious and are a complex area of family law that requires strong legal representation to ensure a fair outcome.

Identifying risk

If you are concerned that your spouse, partner or co-parent is a physical or emotional risk to your child – perhaps because they abuse alcohol or drugs, drive under the influence, or are otherwise incapacitated – it is essential that you take action to safeguard the welfare of your child.

If the co-parent is known to regularly use drugs or alcohol, or if you suspect they have begun using, you should seek legal advice from an experienced family law solicitor regarding concerns about any of the following:

  • Your child travels in the car when the co-parent is under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • The child is regularly late for school while under the care of the co-parent
  • The co-parent cares for your child while under the influence
  • The co-parent is reliant on drugs or alcohol
  • Your child has been placed at risk as a result of the co-parent's drink or drug use
  • The co-parent is regularly incapacitated
  • The co-parent is or can be abusive when using
  • The co-parent has refused to receive help for his or her drink or drug problems

If you have drug or alcohol issues and are responsible for a child

Courts do not expect parents to be perfect; instead the onus is simply on them being "good enough". As such, if you have drug or alcohol problems, you do not need to fear that you will be prevented from having access to your child; courts simply wish to be satisfied that the child is free from harm or protected from risk of harm. Because of this it may be necessary to demonstrate that you are willing to receive help for your drug or alcohol problems. Instruct a family law solicitor to ensure that you can maintain a positive relationship.

Oratto's family law solicitors

Oratto's family law solicitors can offer you a range of options for resolving Children Act disputes and child arrangement disputes arising from drug and alcohol abuse - including mediation and collaborative family law. However, they can also help cases go through the court system when necessary to ensure justice and the welfare of your child where substance or drug misuse is an issue.

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