Facing a drug arrest can be a distressing situation on its own. When you are also worried about the potential loss of custody of your children, the stress can become overwhelming.
Indiana bases custody decisions on the best interests of the child, so the state may investigate your ability to provide a safe and stable environment in this situation.
The child’s best interest standard
The state places a strong emphasis on the well-being and safety of the child when making custody determinations. The court’s main priority is to ensure that the child is in a secure and nurturing environment. The judge will carefully evaluate any circumstances that could compromise a child’s safety or well-being.
Impact of a drug arrest
Courts may view a parent’s involvement in drug-related activities as a potential risk to the child. The seriousness of the impact will depend on various factors, including the nature and severity of the drug-related offense and evidence of substance abuse issues. The court will also consider whether you have a pattern of drug-related arrests.
Substance use rehabilitation efforts
About 1 in 12 Indiana residents struggle with substance use disorder. In these cases, courts may consider the parent’s efforts to address and overcome drug-related problems. Demonstrating a sincere desire to overcome addiction can have a positive influence on custody decisions. You should prepare to show the judge that you have taken steps like entering substance abuse treatment or counseling.
Child’s exposure to risk
The court will also assess whether the drug arrest put the child at risk. If the child was present at the time of the arrest or drug use compromised their safety in any way, it could impact the custody decision.
Temporary custody orders
If the court believes that the child’s safety is at immediate risk, it may issue a temporary custody order pending resolution of the case. This legal document places the child with a suitable caregiver during the court process to ensure their safety.
The state can take custody after a drug arrest in Indiana if the judge determines this step is in the child’s best interest. Proactively addressing substance abuse issues helps show the court your commitment to providing a safe, stable environment for your child.