June 29, 2022

Does Alcohol Rehab Affect Child Custody?

While ourts do not favor removing the child from their parent's custody, there can be legitimate circumstances when the court has to deny the custody of the child to one parent and give it to another parent or guardian.


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Contributors & Editors

Julie Miller

Addiction & Mental Health Writer

Last Update on June 5, 2023

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 It can be scary and uncertain if you’ve found yourself in a situation where you need to get help for your alcohol use. It can be especially worrisome if you have fears of your alcohol abuse problem being used against you as a parent. 

In this article, we discuss how alcohol rehab affects child custody. 

Searching for help with drug and/or alcohol addiction? Call us now at (888) 201-4610.

How Alcohol Affects Family Relationships

Alcohol or substance abuse hurts all aspects of an individual’s life. While addiction to alcohol or any other substance surely turns an individual’s life upside down and not in a pleasant way, the relationships that the individual shares with their family receive the most severe blow from the addiction.

When a parent is involved in alcohol addiction or substance abuse, they will inevitably not be mentally sound and capable of parenting their child since alcohol and other nervous system-acting drugs, when abused, impair the prefrontal cortex in the brain, largely responsible for decision-making and helps with judgment.

Consequently, individuals with substance use disorder cannot make rational life choices since their judgment and the drug’s action impairs decision-making ability.

Fortunately, rehab offers the road to recovery for individuals who want to gain sobriety. However, the problem for most individuals who happen to be parents is that they can not bear the thought of staying away from their child during residential or inpatient rehab.

Can Alcohol Abuse Affect Child Custody?

To use Arizona as an example, courts do not favor removing the child from their parent’s custody. However, there might be legitimate circumstances when the court has to deny the custody of the child to one parent and give it to another parent or guardian.

In cases where the parent is reported of child abuse, drug or alcohol abuse, domestic violence, or criminal activity, some may be denied access to the child keeping the child’s best interest first. Statistics reveal that in 2019, 38.9 percent of children were removed from their homes due to substance abuse-related concerns.

In Arizona, 70 percent of neglect cases involved substance abuse. It is no surprise that when the child’s life, health, and safety are in danger by one parent, the court grants custody to the other parent.

No matter how loving the parent is when one of them is involved in alcohol abuse, it takes a toll on their mental, physical, and emotional well-being and negatively affects the child.

For instance, the finance to run the house and provide the child with necessities is often spent on obtaining alcohol and other drugs of abuse, depriving the child of their basic needs.

In this situation, it becomes imperative to give the custody of the child to the parent who is not dealing with substance abuse disorder or any guardian. In most cases of alcohol abuse, Child Protection Services (CPS) intervene and place the child in the foster care system.

One might assume that there is no chance for a parent to regain custody of their child since they are involved in alcohol or any other substance use disorder. Well, that is far from true. 

Rehab is the solution to addiction, and even though the route to recovery is not smooth and can be challenging, it offers you a chance at an improved future, maybe one with your child. Child welfare workers often partner with alcohol rehab centers to assist parents with substance abuse issues and to help them regain their parental position in their child’s life.

How Is Getting Treatment for Alcohol Abuse The Best Choice?

I am enrolling in alcohol rehab in Arizona, such as Cornerstone Healing Center offers you a solution to overcome the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual shortcomings encountered during alcohol addiction.

Alcohol rehab can be taken as a chance to prove that you can be a good parent to your child. Due to the parent’s alcohol abuse disorder, the child is severely neglected in most cases of alcohol addiction. If not in all. It is difficult for the parent as an individual to provide supervision and nurture their child the way a child demands.

Not going to rehab will further weaken your chances of gaining custody of your child. Eventually, after recovery and combating addiction and withdrawal, the parent who is denied custody can file a petition in the court of Arizona, after which the court demands substantial proof of the individual’s sobriety, making them eligible for the child’s custody.

To negate the presumption of being involved in substance use disorder, the individual has to prove no allegations of drug abuse for the previous five years, along with random alcohol or drug test records of the past six months.

Furthermore, a random alcohol test will be done under the facilities approved by the health care system. Nevertheless, the final ruling stays in the court’s hands.

Cornerstone Healing Center offers you a place to gain sobriety and is one of the finest options when looking for alcohol rehab in Arizona. At Cornerstone, you are provided a healthy and safe environment to recover from alcohol or other substance use disorders.

Cornerstone Healing Center believes that each individual is different, and therefore a tailored approach is used for each individual to ease the recovery process for everyone. Here each individual is regarded with utmost care and respect. Individuals go through various evidence-based treatment programs and therapeutic interventions during their stay in the inpatient rehab facility.

To seek help for alcohol abuse is not a sign of weakness, and saying goodbye to your child will be undeniably hard emotionally. Still, it will prove to be beneficial for you and your family in the long run.

Stages of Alcoholism Recovery

The route to recovery can be an uphill battle, but the results are worth it. There are four stages of alcoholism recovery: the treatment initiation phase followed by early abstinence from alcohol.

Monitoring your abstinence can be challenging, but once a commitment is made, all you need is willpower and determination to stick to your goal.

Once you have maintained abstinence, you are in the final stage of advanced recovery, which will help you live a content and fulfilling life.

By the end of treatment, you meet a new and improved version of yourself who is ready to tackle life’s challenges and can provide optimum sustenance and protection to your child.

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Author & Reviewers

julie miller recovery writer and author
Julie is a recovery advocate, with over two years sober. She is a recovery speaker who believes people can change for the better. Her mission is to write factual, helpful information about addiction, treatment, and recovery. She believes that no one should be left in the dark about the process at any stage of their recovery.
lionel estrada lisac clinical director

Lionel is the Clinical Director of Cornerstone’s treatment facilities in Arizona. He has had over 4 years at Cornerstone. He is personally in recovery and passionate about helping others overcome substance abuse and mental health challenges, he is trained as an EMDR, adopting a trauma-informed approach to treat the underlying issues of conditions.

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