Last Updated on September 28, 2023 by Benson Varghese
If you are involved in a child custody or visitation case, don’t be surprised if you are asked – or ordered – to take a drug test. Drug testing in child custody cases in Texas is increasingly common.
The judge must make decisions based on what he or she believes is in the “best interests of the child” and drug testing is often required in cases where there is even a mention or thought of substance abuse – whether it is true or not. In this blog post, our Fort Worth family law attorneys answer some frequently asked questions about drug testing in child custody cases in Texas.
When is drug testing required in child custody or visitation cases?
While drug testing may be ordered in any child custody or visitation case, it is most likely to come up in cases where:
* one of the parents has a history of drug abuse;
* there have been allegations of drug use;
* a parent files a motion requesting the other parent be drug tested;
* there is a concern about the child's safety
Which type of drug test is most commonly given in North Texas child custody cases?
In child custody cases, the most common drug test is a urine drug screen. This type of drug test can detect recent use of alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and PCP. However, the judge could also order hair follicle or nail clipping tests which can detect drug use over a longer period of time.
Who pays for the drug test in family court?
It depends. The court will usually order the parent requesting drug testing to pay for it. However, if the other parent fails the drug test, the court may order that parent to pay for it. Simply put, the court decides who pays.
Can you be given a surprise drug test in Fort Worth family court cases?
Yes, you could be ordered to submit to a drug test in the middle of a court hearing or within an extremely short period of time. This is often ordered when there are concerns about the child's safety or what is in the best interests of the child.
What happens if you refuse to comply with court-ordered drug testing in child custody cases?
If you refuse a court order, you can be held in contempt of court. This means you can be fined, jailed, or both. This will also not bode well for child custody or visitation case and the judge will likely rule against you.
If you have been ordered to take a drug test or if drug testing is being considered in your child custody case, it is important to speak with an experienced family law attorney. Our attorneys can help explain the drug testing process and what to expect.
What if I fail my drug test in a child custody case?
If you are drug tested, it is important to be honest with your attorney and with the court. If you test positive for drugs, there may be serious consequences, including:
* Losing custody or visitation rights
* Having supervised visitation only
* Being required to attend drug treatment
A failed drug test does not guarantee that you will lose custody of your child, however. The court will look at many factors when making a decision about child custody, including the severity of the drug problem, whether you have sought treatment, the stability of your home life, and the best interests of the child.
Is there a reason why a parent shouldn't request a drug test?
If you have no reason to believe the other parent is using drugs, requesting a drug test could backfire. The court may view your request as an unfounded accusation and it could make it harder for you to gain custody or visitation in the future.
On the other hand, if you have ever used drugs, you should be prepared for the possibility that a drug test will be ordered for you. If you have concerns about drug testing, speak with an attorney to discuss your options.
Contact a Fort Worth Child Custody Attorney Today
If you have questions or concerns regarding drug testing in child custody cases in Fort Worth or the surrounding areas, it’s crucial to speak to an experienced family law attorney. Our team at Varghese Summersett Family Law Group has the knowledge and experience necessary to help guide you through this anxious time and fight for what’s best for you and your child. Contact us today at 817-900-3220 to schedule a consultation.
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