Can I Keep My Child From Her Father if He is Using Drugs?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

“I live in South Carolina and by law my husband and I have to wait 1 year before we can file for our divorce. We have a 4 year old daughter who lives with me and has lived with me since our separation.  Can I keep my daughter from seeing her father if I have proof of drug abuse and the fact that he has not tried to see her but 5 times during the 11 months we have lived separately? He has never been involved, even during the duration of our marriage, and I am afraid to allow her to see him alone considering his drug use.  I don’t want to do the wrong thing, however I also have a responsibility to keep her safe.”

You are obliged to follow the parenting schedule of the separation orders (if you don’t have such an order, you need to go to court and get one).  If the parenting schedule as it currently stands is such that following it puts you in fear for your daughter’s safety, then you need to go back to court and have it changed.  If you simply withhold your daughter from her father during his court-ordered parenting times, then you will be in violation of the court order.