Drug Abuse Testing – Family Court
Drug abuse and addiction is a serious problem across the country. For families dealing with the issue, the devastating outcomes are varied and real. What happens to children when parents divorce, in large part due to an addiction? It can be beyond frightening to have to send off your little ones to a parent who may put them at risk due to this serious problem. What options do parents have in this dangerous situation? A local family and divorce attorney can assist with these and other family law issues in divorce.
Suspected Drug Abuse and Custody and Visitation
One of the most critical issues to be decided in many divorces centers around how parents will share responsibilities for their minor children. Without a doubt, when one parent is suspected or accused of having drug abuse issues or of using illegal drugs, it will impact decisions related to child custody and visitation. Importantly, family courts are not in the business of sanctioning parents because of their substance abuse, whether or not that dug abuse entails the use of illicit drugs. Rather, the aim of the court is to use current legal frameworks in order to protect the health and safety of children. What might this entail?
- Drug Testing: The court may order a single test, or intermittent drug testing of one parent, based on evidence or accusations that indicate a child’s safety is in question.
- Supervised Visitation: The parent who suffers from substance abuse may be allowed time with the child(ren) only in the presence of other adults.
- Treatment Classes: The parent with drug abuse issues may be ordered to take classes related to drug/alcohol abuse, as well as parenting classes, to demonstrate willingness to improve circumstances for the child(ren).
- Custody or Visitation Termination: A parent with a significant, continuous drug abuse problem, may be denied custody and/or visitation altogether.
A Serious Issue
Clearly, accusations of substance abuse are no small matter. That means that in most cases, a judge will require more than the mere allegation or suspicion of wrongdoing. A motion must be filed requesting a court order for a drug test, which may be one of several possible panels. Then there will be a hearing, where both sides will present their arguments. Having a prior arrest record relating to substance abuse, photos on social media, or other relevant evidence will all be weighed and a judge will determine next steps. If a drug test is ordered, the results will determine further action. Certainly, the court will consider the type of substance and the possible harm that might befall youngsters in the aftermath of testing.
If you are getting a divorce and drug abuse is an issue of concern, the experienced divorce attorneys Beck Law P.C., can help. Protecting your kids is a top priority. If you live in Mendocino County, Lake County, or Sonoma County, schedule a confidential consultation in our Santa Rosa office today.