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Overcoming addiction to win back child custody

You love your child and want to provide a good, stable home for them. As much as you want to help your child grow and succeed, addiction is a monster you just can't seem to escape. A judge decided you were "unfit" and denied guardianship or custody rights to protect your child, but this doesn't mean you can't earn them back.

Addiction, be it drugs, alcohol or gambling, can risk a child's well-being. This disease can pull parents away from spending quality time with children and may affect their ability to make good parenting decisions. It's possible that a grandparent or other family member could care for the child until you are healthy enough to parent again.

Often, to cope with these habits, parents might spend extreme amounts of money on substances, leaving little to support their children with food and shelter. Even once financially responsible parents can fall into debt while feeding an addiction.

In some cases, a child's health might be in danger from someone else's substance abuse. When drugs or alcohol are in the home, parents risk the chance of young children ingesting toxic chemicals. Teens might also begin using these substances and could easily overdose. Substance-induced emotions in a drug user or alcoholic could also contribute to domestic violence.

Despite these tragic consequences, these cravings can seem nearly impossible to beat. The grip of addiction is strong, but you may regain child custody and guardianship if you work toward sobriety.

If you struggle with addiction, you can take steps toward becoming healthy again, such as:

  • Check into a medical rehabilitation center
  • Attend Alcoholics Anonymous or similar support group meetings
  • Avoid tapering doses on your own without medical supervision
  • Speak with doctors to deal with withdrawal symptoms
  • Treat underlying mental illness with therapy

Not all treatments work for each individual, so don't be discouraged if the first option doesn't help. While the road ahead could be difficult, it will ultimately be rewarding.

Once you have successfully tackled your addiction, you can pursue a custody modificationor seek guardianship. However, it can be challenging to prove that you've truly conquered addiction and are ready to raise your child. This calls for legal guidance from a family law attorney, which can improve your chances of convincing a judge that you are healthy again so you can be reunited with your child.

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Smith, Lehberger & Bodie
10265 Kingston Pike
Suite C
Knoxville, TN 37922

Phone: 865-643-8626
Fax: 865-337-7363
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