If you have reason to believe that your child’s other parent is abusing alcohol or taking drugs, and you are in the middle of a custody dispute, requesting that they submit to drug testing could be the right move for you. Child custody battles can be difficult, and it is not uncommon for one parent, who wants to seem like the better parent, to accuse the other of drug use or alcoholism.
However, when these allegations are unfounded, the parent who accused the other often looks bad, which is why it’s so important to request a drug test only if you have evidence such as photographs, social media postings, or other items that can demonstrate why you believe drug testing is necessary.
Continue reading to learn more about how you can obtain a drug test order and what will happen if a parent fails a drug test.
Protecting Your Child’s Best Interests
If you make the decision to move forward with a drug test request, your lawyer will file a motion in court. From there, a hearing will be granted and both parents will have the opportunity to explain to the courts why drug testing should or should not be ordered in your case.
It’s quite possible that the judge will then order both parents to submit to a drug test. This is frequently done if one parent has a history of drug or alcohol abuse, or prior drug or alcohol-related criminal convictions. Once again, it is critical that you do not accuse your child’s other parent of drug use or alcoholism unless you have evidence to support such claims.
What If a Parent Fails the Drug Test?
There are a couple of different types of drug tests that can be ordered, including hair follicle, blood testing, or urinalysis. Blood tests and urinalysis will show recent drug or alcohol use while hair follicle tests can reveal abuse going months back.
If a parent fails the court-ordered drug test, then it is likely that the courts will order the parent to take parenting classes and attend drug or alcohol rehabilitation programs. Upon completion, the parent will also be ordered to submit to random drug testing between sixty and ninety days afterwards. If the parent passes their subsequent drug tests, they will then be looked on favorably by the courts.
In the event that a parent fails their subsequent drug testing, it would not be unreasonable to assume that the parent’s parental rights, custody and visitation will remain minimal or even be revoked.
That isn’t to say that a parent who fails a drug test will never see their child again, but the judge is going to set a custody and visitation plan that protects the child from being subjected to a parent who is addicted to drugs or alcohol.
Work with an Indiana Child Custody Attorney
When a parent abuses alcohol and uses drugs, they put their children at risk. As their other parent, you have to advocate for their safety and well-being.
If you need to request a drug test so you can protect your child, consult an Indiana child custody lawyer at Rowdy G. Williams Law Firm today. You can fill out the brief contact form below or call our office at 1-812-232-7400 to set up your initial case review.