What to Do If Your Child Uses Drugs While Visiting San Diego for the Summer
This is the fifth post in my series on summertime visitation issues that San Diego parents often encounter. My last post discussed what to do if your child refuses to participate in visitation with the noncustodial parent. Today I am discussing a topic that is stressful for many families- drug abuse on the part of your child. It is important for parents to be aware that if your child has behavior issues, and breaks the law in your custody, you must address the problem to avoid losing visitation with your child.
Parents of San Diego teenagers must ensure that their children are properly supervised
Children who are visiting their parents in San Diego for the summer will be excited to have access to sandy beaches and great weather. However, our city is a large tourist destination and older children who are looking for a party can easily find one. For parents who do not typically have the day to day responsibility of monitoring their children, it is important to be prepared to lay down the law if you think your child is likely to get into trouble. Prior to your child’s visitation, discuss with the custodial parent what rules the child has to abide by at home. When possible, enforce similar curfews, chores, responsibilities and punishments.
San Diego parents may also need to consider changing personal habits when your child is in the home. If you have a prescription for medical marijuana, it is important to ensure your child does not have access to it while they stay in your custody. It is also important that children do not have access to alcohol or prescription drugs while in your home. Failing to safeguard alcohol or drugs around your child could be enough for a family court to reduce or suspend your visitation should the custodial parent filed a motion to change custody. If you become involved in a child custody dispute then it is important that you contact an attorney immediately.
California courts generally will not punish a parent who is taking appropriate steps to deal with child’s legal issues
At the same time, the California court system is aware that parents are not able to control everything their children do. Teenagers get into trouble and the court will not punish a parent unless that parent has acted in a negligible manner. If your child gets into trouble with the law, and their custodial parent threatens to file a motion to bring the child home, contact a family law attorney immediately. Your attorney will help you prove that your child was supervised to a reasonable standard, and did not get into trouble due to a deficiency of parenting. Your lawyer will also advise you on appropriate steps to take, such as placing the child in therapy when necessary, or increasing the level of supervision the child has.
Handling teenagers during the summer is not an easy task; for noncustodial parents it is important to be prepared. If your child gets into trouble while visiting San Diego for the summer, contact our office immediately.