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How substance abuse may affect visitation in Michigan

When you and your child’s other parent do not live together, the time your child is away from you may be difficult. If there is a history of substance abuse, you may rightfully be concerned about the safety of the visit. At the Law Offices of Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C., we have seen many custody cases involving parents who have a drug problem, and are aware of the potential repercussions if the situation is not addressed correctly.

A judge may not believe it is in the best interests of your child to have no contact with his or her other parent. However, there is a system in place to prevent a parent who is impaired from spending time with your child. The Michigan parenting time guidelines explain that in the event of a substance abuse problem, your child’s other parent may be restricted to supervised parenting time.

The goal is to provide a safe environment for visitation so that the other parent can develop or maintain a healthy bond with the child while seeking treatment for the addiction. This type of supervision is often offered through an agency and involves professionals who can provide support or therapy that promotes a beneficial parent/child relationship.

There are many restrictions in place during agency supervised visitation to promote a safe environment. For example, the other parent would not be allowed to see your child while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. During the visit, the other parent would not be allowed to ask your child questions about you or make negative comments. Whispering or speaking in a language unknown by the supervisor is prohibited. Guidelines also include other limitations to create a secure setting. For more information about parenting time, please visit our Web page.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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