We’re sure you want the best for your child. And sometimes, that means asking the court to subject the other parent to court ordered drug testing in child custody cases. This isn’t a tactic to use lightly, but it may be vital to the safety of your family.
If you feel you should have the court order such tests, call Angela Faye Brown & Associates today at (512) 842-6649 in Austin or (713) 597-8371 in Houston for immediate consultation.
When Are Drug Tests Ordered in a Child Custody Case?
Court ordered drug testing in child custody cases usually results when a judge suspects the other parent of drug use, or when you file a motion asking the court to order testing. This seems reasonable to most people, though the defendant may fight it tooth and nail, since drug use can result in the loss of custody rights.
If the defendant has nothing to hide, they can accept the tests and move on. If they do have something to hide, they may fight the order. Or, they may try cling to their right to privacy, guilty or not, and outright refuse the testing. This may complicate your case, but typically the order will go through, because court ordered drug testing is not illegal.
What Kind of Drug Tests Will the Court Use?
In Texas, court ordered drug testing in child custody cases usually takes three or four forms. All test body fluids or dead cells for drugs outright, or for the chemicals left after the user’s body processes those drugs.
- Saliva tests. In laymen’s terms, check the defendant’s spit. They tend to be accurate and hard to tamper with but have a short detection period.
- Urine tests. These are very common and can detect drug use within the past few days. The defendant may argue that other substances (including some foods), may fool these tests, returning a false positive; however, this is very rare.
- Hair tests. These can detect the presence of drugs or their by-products as much as a year after use. Though these tests are expensive, they are worth paying for to try to prove past drug use or a pattern of drug use.
- Nail clipping tests. These have the same pros and cons as hair tests.
What If the Test Is Positive?
Positive results for court ordered drug testing in child custody cases aren’t necessarily the end of the line for the child’s other parent. They may appeal the findings. But if the court decides the other parent was, in fact, using drugs at the time of the test, the judge is unlikely to grant even partial custody to that parent for several good reasons. Parental drug use:
- exposes children to illegal drugs.
- increases the risk of child neglect.
- often results in a dangerous home environment.
- often leads to, or is associated with, other crimes.
The court may restrict the other parent to visitation rights or specify supervised visits only.
How Does the Court Treat Marijuana?
Don’t assume the other parent will get a pass for testing positive for “pot.” While marijuana is legal in some states now, it is still an illegal drug in Texas. A positive result will count against the defendant just as much as any other positive result.
Can I Ask the Court to Require More Drug Testing After We Sign the Custody Agreement?
Yes, you can. Court ordered drug testing in child custody cases doesn’t necessarily cease once you’ve settled the case. If judge thinks the other parent may use drugs in the future, he or she can stipulate that the defendant must take regular drug tests at specific intervals. Failure or refusal of these tests can cause them to lose some of their visitation or custody rights — and repeated failure may result in the loss of all their visitation rights. The other parent might not see your child for years as a result.
Realize, however, that the child’s other parent can fight to regain custody or visitation rights later, if they prove they have changed their behavior and have stopped using drugs.
Get a Lawyer Experienced with Court Ordered Drug Testing in Child Custody Cases
If you need a court to order drug testing associated with a child custody case, call Angela Faye Brown & Associates today. Your child deserves a fair chance at a normal life.
We know how to file against your child’s other parent for court ordered drug testing in child custody cases, and we fight to win.