Divorce is never easy, but matters become even more difficult when a parent is accused of drug or alcohol abuse. It is then that the court can step in and mandate child custody drug testing.
What is child custody drug testing?
In most amicable divorce cases, couples with children receive joint custody, meaning the children live primarily with one parent during the week, and stay with the other on weekends or other designated days.
However custody agreements become much more difficult if one parent seeks sole custody after accusing their former spouse of abusing drugs. In order for the court to mandate a drug test, the accused parent must have some type of recorded history with drugs or alcohol.
When might custody drug testing be used?
While the court is deciding who to appoint primary custody to
Before or after scheduled visitation with a child
While a child currently resides under a parent’s custody, as this can be a requirement for maintaining their legal rights
If a parent’s alcohol or prescription drug use is accused of impeding their caregiving abilities
A common misconception is that a parent can refuse a drug test, claiming the right to not self incriminate. However, that right only applies to criminal charges, not civil or custodial cases, so if you are ordered to take one or multiple drug tests, you must comply.
In each of these situations, one constant remains – the need to maintain the utmost safety of the child. While it’s not something that is used in every custody situation, in some instances courts could order child custody drug testing. Being able to stay clean and pass these tests could have a direct impact on your future as a parent and on your relationship with your children and should be taken very seriously.
A full service drug and alcohol testing company, National Drug Screening (NDS) also provides Medical Review Officer (MRO) services and web based drug testing software. Drug Testing Centers are open daily and are available for individuals, court ordered programs, and required testing for colleges and universities.