When you first met your spouse, their life-of-the-party attitude might have been attractive. You may have had a lot of fun together early in your relationship. However, you got married and had children. Life looks a lot different now, and the wild nights are not so fun anymore. Maybe your ex has not gotten over their partying stage.
Or perhaps their occasional substance use has turned into a full-fledged addiction. Even if your spouse’s substance abuse is not the main reason for the divorce, it typically becomes an issue for many couples. When it comes to their drinking problem or drug use, does this mean that you have a chance to ask for sole custody?
Shared Custody is Preferred
You probably heard that shared custody or co-parenting arrangements are the standards in Arizona family courts. Research has made it clear that both parents are crucial to the happiness and development of children. The courts want to make custody decisions that are in the best interests of the children.
For most families going through a divorce, the court’s order shared custody. If one parent cannot fulfill their parental responsibilities, the other parent can legally ask for full custody. Substance abuse or chemical dependence is a common reason cited by one spouse seeking sole custody in a divorce. Before you head to court, you will need proof. You cannot just get up on the stand and insist that your ex is a violent drunk. The courts are suspicious of any claims intended to influence the custody terms that they set. The more evidence you have of your spouse’s problem, the better.
Maybe they got pulled over for drunk driving, which means there is a police report. Or they have been getting into fights at bars or get arrested because they had drugs in their possession. Criminal records can help validate and prove your concerns. It is also true for medical records if there is any hospitalization or treatment for their habits.