Divorce is a difficult time enough by itself, but then if you add in the worry of drug use by a parent, it can be downright terrifying. What do you do if you suspect a parent is using drugs around your children or using in general? It is important that you know your rights as a parent and the steps to take if you fear drug use is taking place. Check below for more information on what to do in this scenario.
In some instances, a person involved in a custody and divorce case will say the other parent is using drugs simply to gain full custody of the children. Because of this, courts have taken a variety of stances on the issue. It is not uncommon for people to request the court system to do drug testing when they suspect alcohol or drug abuse during divorce. Because of the unfortunate circumstances that people do state this false accusation, the court will investigate all the evidence thoroughly. A parent can ask for a temporary custody order while this is all taking place.
In this case, the courts will typically order that the parent in question submit to random testing just to ensure that everyone is drug-free and clearing any concerns. You’ll find that most courts will take the accused parent the day the orders are given and test them as they have no warning it’s coming. This makes sure to get them on the spot when they didn’t have prior knowledge, so they can’t hide their use if there are drugs in their system.
Types of Tests
The typical drug test used is a urine sample. This sample can tell them if anyone has used drugs within the last three days. However, using the more advanced hair follicle test will allow the courts to see the past 90-days of a person’s drug use history. It also needs to be clear what the person was doing the prior three months if this test method is used.
What if the Results are Positive?
There are a couple of things that could happen depending on the judge. One option is that the person who is in question is now put under supervised visits only. That means someone must be with them and the children at all times.
Another option is that an emergency order hearing is put into place. The judge may then decide to do a urine test to see if they’re clean or if the parent in question has subsequent clean tests and allow them to have unsupervised visits. They most likely will say that the parent and child have to have supervised visits until the parent proves they are clean for a certain amount of time.
Be assured that you do have rights and protections if you’re concerned about drug abuse during divorce. Don’t be afraid to raise the question and protect your children when needed.