Can Woman Keep Her Ex From Seeing Daughter if He Uses 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 SC 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 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 because I worry about her well-being considering his off and on again drug use.  I don’t want to do the wrong thing; however, I also have a responsibility to keep her safe.”

It is not advisable to keep a child from seeing her parent without a court order.  The Court frowns upon this behavior.  If you are concerned about your husband’s ability to parent and feel uncomfortable with your daughter spending time alone with him, you should arrange supervised visits.  Contact a family law attorney to handle the custody arrangements for your child if you have not done so already.  Keep in mind the Court will not terminate parental rights unless the parent consents or there are very *serious* concerns about his or her ability to parent.