The state of Nevada treats the custody and care of a child very, very seriously. In cases where one parent may struggle with substance abuse, the courts will consider if that parent has become unfit to have custody over their child. The state will consider if the parent is able to still act in the best interest of their child, because the state wants to protect children and keep them in safety, first and foremost.
It is important to note the differences between legal and illegal substances. Many people must take medication for mental or physical diagnoses, which is much different from abusing substances. It is also different to have the occasional drink than it is to be abusing alcohol. However, when a parent begins to abuse substances to the point that they become dangerous or neglectful towards their child, the courts will step in.
The law primarily considers instances where the parent is deemed consistently unable to care for their child. There are many cases where a parent can seek custody even while dealing with a mental health diagnosis or substance abuse problem, as long as they can prove to the court that it is being managed in a responsible manner.
If you believe your ex-spouse has a substance abuse problem that is endangering your child, it is important to start the legal process right away. Some cases may even require a call to Child Protective Services. Generally the courts will act quickly, due to their responsibility to keeping your child safe. It is important to have legal help who is experienced and knowledgeable, and can help advocate for you and your child in court.
We have a broad range of experience in family law here at Leavitt & Flaxman, and would love to set up a consultation to see if we can help. Contact us today so that we can make sure to protect the wellbeing of your child.