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Custody terms can depend on substance abuse and other issues

New York couples who are facing divorce and custody issues may relate to the potential fight that could shape up between Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick. As the reality television show pair has announced their breakup, there is an interest in who will have custody of the couple's three children. While many might assume that the mother will be awarded primary custody due to the fact that she is the primary caregiver, the father could press for custody during the coming proceedings. However, Disick's history of drug issues could impact the outcome.

Although substance abuse, domestic violence and other negative behaviors in a parent's past could impact a judge's decisions about custody and visitation, the timing of the issue may determine how much that history will affect the outcome. If the issues have not occurred in recent years, for example, there may be no reason to limit the affected parent's access to the couple's children. Even with a more recent history of substance abuse or other serious behaviors, a parent could still be awarded joint legal custody if not physical custody. If the safety of a child is a concern, a judge can order supervised visitation to ensure that the child can stay secure while having parental involvement.

The involvement of both parents is considered crucial for a child's emotional well-being after a divorce. In some cases, access could be limited because a parent has been deemed to be unfit. However, a judge might define steps that a parent could take to reach a point of having more time with their child.

A custodial parent who becomes aware of substance abuse by the non-custodial parent might be concerned about their child's safety under existing parenting provisions. If the situation seems serious enough, it might be important to obtain the assistance of an attorney in seeking a modification to the visitation order.

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