Who Gets Custody Of My Child If I Go To Rehab?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on

Most parents keep custody of their children while seeking addiction treatment, relying on a spouse or other family member for childcare during treatment. When courts do get involved, seeking addiction care shows a parent’s dedication to their child’s well-being.

Who Gets Custody Of My Child If I Go To Rehab?

This is a common question that parents ask when considering alcohol and drug rehabilitation options.

The answer to this question depends on a couple factors, namely if child protective services (CPS) has gotten involved or if there is a custody battle happening.

Otherwise, typically the parent would retain custody of the child as long as the child is cared for, and the parent needn’t worry about custodial loss.

Childcare Options During Addiction Treatment

Many parents go to an addiction treatment center and leave their child in the care of the other parent, other family members, or a trusted and safe friend.

Some addiction treatment centers provide childcare and housing for young children on site so that parents can be with their children during treatment.

This can be helpful for parents of young children who can’t find other options for childcare.

When Courts Take Action

If there is a custody hearing going on, a parent’s active substance use can be seen as a risk to the child, putting custody of the child in jeopardy.

Addiction treatment is often recommended, as the focus in these hearings is on the child and what is in the child’s best interests.

Getting treatment is important because it reduces safety and other risks to the child and the parent and can also show the parent’s dedication to the well-being of the child.

In the absence of a custody battle, courts generally prefer to keep children with their families as much as possible.

Oftentimes, the focus will be on placement with the other parent or other family members until the parent has completed a drug or alcohol treatment program.

In some cases, there may be temporary foster care placement if no other suitable option is available.

Addiction Treatment Is The Best Option

You can benefit substantially from treatment, including that it can help you avoid the risk of having your children permanently removed from the home should substance use impact your parenting.

Keep in mind that addiction affects the entire family system, and in order for recovery to be successful, family dynamics often must shift.

Once you’ve completed a treatment program, continuing to seek support for recovery can help bolster your recovery efforts and offer other support when your family needs it.

Aftercare options like ongoing therapy, including family therapy, and 12-step peer support meetings can be vital to the process of long-term recovery.

Find Treatment For Drug Or Alcohol Addiction Today

Reach out to Addiction Resource today to learn about getting on the path to recovery.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.

These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on
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