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Does your ex’s drinking constitute parental neglect in Texas?

| Oct 12, 2021 | Custody & Visitation |

When you broke up or filed for divorce, you did so knowing that you would have to share custody with your ex. However, getting yourself and your children out of the house may have been important to you, especially if your ex has an issue with substance abuse.  

Those addicted to alcohol, pain medication or illegal substances may struggle to fulfill their basic duties as a parent. Could you use their addiction as grounds to claim neglect and seek sole custody of your children in a Texas custody dispute?

An addict may not provide adequate parental oversight

Texas has state laws regarding the responsibilities that a parent have to their children. One of the most basic responsibilities is the obligation to provide reasonable and necessary care. If your children are under the age of sixteen, then an adult or a trained, responsible child over the age of 15 must be present to ensure everyone stays safe. 

If your children are under the age of 15, your ex’s drug use or drinking could constitute neglect or even abandonment. If your ex is incapable of driving the children somewhere, providing actual supervision or just staying awake, they won’t be able to meet your children’s needs and ensure that they are safe. 

The more documentation you have about your spouse’s addiction and behaviors, the easier it will be to show that their chemical dependence leads to inappropriate parenting behaviors. Knowing when the state will intervene in your custody situation can help you act to protect your children during this difficult time.