Addressing Substance Abuse in Custody Litigation: Strategies
What Should I Do if I Have a Substance Abuse Problem That May Affect My Oklahoma Child Custody Case?
What should I do if I know I have a substance abuse problem that’s going to come up in custody litigation? My name is Brian L Jackson. I’m a Tulsa father’s rights attorney here with Dads.Law where fathers are not disposable and today we are going to talk about dealing with a substance abuse issue when you know it’s coming up in custody litigation.
So as a general rule if you have a substance abuse problem in any context you need to get help but it’s especially true in the context of a upcoming custody case and I can see you guys thinking well I don’t want to you know I don’t want to acknowledge I have this problem because they’re going to hammer me with it. Rest assured that more than likely if you’re drinking too much, if you’re using drugs it’s going to come out. It will come out in discovery.
There are a number of ways that we attorneys can develop evidence that you have been using something you shouldn’t have that you drink too much whatever. We can use you know you can get it in written discovery you can get at it in deposition. It’s not that difficult if you have some circumstantial evidence to persuade a court to order a drug test and typically the courts will order a nail test and they’ll say well order a nail bed or a hair follicle so they’re going to catch you. So worrying about admitting to something like that is probably you know it’s not that it’s an invalid concern but it’s it’s coming out so you’re not going to hide it.
Dealing with Substance Abuse Before Court Orders
The way you deal with it is you step up and deal with it before you have your order to do it by the court. I always suggest to clients if you have a primary care physician and you know you have a problem go talk to them and ask for a drug and alcohol evaluation right away. That makes it a medical issue which one of the benefits of that is if it’s medical it’s more likely to be paid for by insurance as opposed to coming out of your pocket. If you get court ordered a lot of insurance companies will treat that as a legal issue and then they won’t pay.
So deal with it before it’s brought up and before you’re ordered to do anything. That way when it comes up you’re you’re in a position to say okay yes that’s a problem and that’s why I went and got help I’m addressing it and you can talk about what what your treatment is. It’s always better to to have been proactive about it and dealt with it that way as opposed to waiting to be ordered.
Taking Action and Seeking Treatment
Obviously if you are able to and you’re using substances you should stop. If you are physically addicted and can’t then this is where you need to get yourself into a treatment program immediately. But first you need to be evaluated so that you can get some advice on what’s appropriate for you because that depends on the nature of the substances you’re abusing, how bad how serious a situation you find yourself in, etc. So it’s always a good idea to go through the steps.
But my advice generally speaking would be take care of that shit when you’re ordered to or before you’re ordered to do it voluntarily. You also one thing you do want to put a lid on however bad your problem is you don’t ever want to let it let you allow yourself to be impaired in the presence of your children. You don’t ever want to be doing things like driving around under the influence.
So do what you need to do to stop from doing those things. Don’t allow it to cause you to further aggravate the problem by either endangering your children or endangering yourself exposing yourself to potential criminal sanctions. That only makes it worse. And however you need to get that done make sure you’re not not doing it around the kids, not engaging in other criminal behavior around it like stealing to feed your habit or driving under the influence things like that. But you do need to address it voluntarily and take those precautions. And that’s kind of the best strategy for how to handle that initially if you know you have a problem.
Seeking Legal Help and Taking Responsibility
And I think the last thing I would tell you is be honest with yourself. I mean if you know you can’t get your ass out of bed in the morning without without a drink of alcohol you will probably have a problem and you need to get help or at the very least you need to go talk to your doctor about what’s going on that you need to have a drink in the morning. So be honest with yourself and be willing to man up and take responsibility for dealing with the problem before it blows up in your face. Before you get ordered to do it.
And if you are dealing with a situation like that where you know something’s coming down the pike then you need a good lawyer. One place you can find a good lawyer is at Dads.Law where fathers are not disposable.