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Child Custody Court-Ordered Drug Testing Cases

When it comes to court ordered drug testing in child custody cases, the courts in all states will seek what’s in the best interest of the child no matter the situation, especially in cases that involve drug abuse. The results of a child custody drug test can have a major impact on the magistrate’s decision-making authority in child custody matters. The magistrate has sole authority over important decisions such as parental rights, medical consent, and physical custody. Additionally, the magistrate can also set the terms for shared or sole custody, visitation schedules, and child-support payments.

Custody battles can cost a lot of money and get very heated. Therefore, as a parent, you want to look like the responsible parent in the judge’s eyes in order to win the time that you deserve with your child. For both parents who use cannabis or other illegal drugs, this can be a double-edged sword when trying to prove who the better parent is. Therefore, you should get your own house in order before you petition the court to issue a drug test on your former partner.

On the other hand, if you are the responsible parent and your former partner is the one abusing drugs, a drug test will demonstrate their unfitness as a parent, but keep in mind that judges are very mindful about character assassination and how intrusive a drug test can be. Therefore, most courts will require some type of evidence before a drug test will be ordered.

3 Steps for Proving Drug Abuse in Custody Matters

Step 1: Obtain Legal Counsel

The first step is to obtain legal counsel who can best represent you and the welfare of your child. It’s always a good idea to choose a lawyer who has experience in child custody matters involving parental drug abuse rather than a traditional divorce lawyer because hiring the right attorney with the right knowledge, training, and experience can make all the difference in the world when it comes to proving drug abuse.

If you don’t know how to find a good child custody lawyer, you can always check with your state’s local and state bar associations. You can also check with your friends, family or co-workers who may have gone through a similar situation such as yourself and ask for recommendations. Additionally, you can visit your state’s attorney directory and find one that way. The truth is, you need quality representation because if you don’t have someone experienced on your side, your ex’s attorney will make you look dreadfully unfit.

Step 2: Hire a Private Detective

The second step in proving drug abuse in child custody matters is having some concrete evidence. Your word alone will not be enough to convince a judge to order a drug test on your former partner. Therefore, you should consider hiring a private detective to obtain your evidence instead of doing it yourself. A private detective can collect statements and witness testimonies on your behalf as well as record video surveillance of your former partner who may be engaged in illegal activities.

If your former partner is recorded on video drinking and driving alone or with your child in the car, caught smoking marijuana or using other illicit drugs, and making drug deals, this can be the nail in the coffin and all the magistrate would need to see in order to award you with primary custody. Additionally, the magistrate will also order your former partner to attend alcohol and drug counseling as well as supervised visits until your ex can prove himself or herself clean and fit.

Step 3: Keep Written Documentation

It’s very important to keep written documentation of every drug-related occurrence that your former partner is involved with as well as any missed visitation times, phone calls, birthday parties, or times that your child past was returned beyond the court-ordered visitation time. You lawyer can file these documents into the court records as evidence on your behalf when trying to prove drug abuse in child custody cases.

Can a Mother Lose Custody for Drug Use?

In most court ordered drug testing in child custody cases, the mother can absolutely lose custody for drug use, and in some cases, the mother who does lose her parental rights due to drug abuse will have a longer uphill battle than the father does. Drug abuse of any kind is a serious matter in a court of law, even the occasional use of alcohol or drugs can make it extremely difficult to win custody, especially for a mother.

Charges like possession and distribution of drugs, DWIs, sexual abuse, and reckless endangerment of a child are taken even more seriously. So if your former partner has a record, make sure your attorney knows about all of the charges, especially the ones that are not showing up in federal and state databases. For mothers who have lost custody due to drug abuse, the first step to be reunited with your child is to enroll in a substance abuse program and stay clean.

The Results of Drug Testing in Child Custody Cases

If a court ordered drug test was awarded on your behalf, the results of a failed drug test for your former partner can come with serious consequences, and in most court ordered drug testing in child custody cases, the court will always award you with primary custody and all other important matters concerning the welfare of your child.

A positive drug test and child custody matters will always hold weight in a court of law. To see our comprehensive list of drug-related court cases, click here.