When individuals who have struggled with alcohol and/or other substances get clean and sober, they are often anxious to rebuild relationships that may have suffered as a result of their addiction. This is understandable. Yet, it is important for parents of minor children to understand that if there is a child custody order in place that restricts their time with their kids, they can’t simply choose to start showing up whenever they please.
In Kentucky, the terms of a custody agreement dictate when each of a child’s parents gets to spend time with them. If the terms of an individual’s agreement no longer reflect the best interests of their kids, they can try to modify that document. It is generally a good idea to wait until an individual’s recovery has been consistent for some time before making a modification, though, as stability and consistency are vitally important for proper child development.
Aim for a collaborative approach whenever possible
If you believe that you can persuade your co-parent to agree to a modification, it will be to your advantage to take a collaborative approach to your situation. If your co-parent agrees to a child custody or parenting plan/agreement modification, all you will both need to do is work with an attorney to finalize it, formalize it and submit it to the court for approval.
If, however, your co-parent is opposed to a modification request, you will either need to wait until they are agreeable or you will need to fight for your rights in court.
Keep in mind that the judge assigned to your case will only grant your request if they believe it to be in your child’s best interests. As a result, it can be helpful to seek legal guidance before charging ahead, as doing so will give you a strong sense of whether your request will be approved and – if so – will better ensure that your case results in a favorable outcome.