There is no doubt that child custody cases can get quite brutal. When couples are going through a divorce, they can say and do evil things to one another, and that can often mean the children are taking back seat to their own selfishness.
One parent may even make wild accusations against the other. They can claim that the other parent is abusive, is volatile, or has shown tendencies that make them a danger to the child. The other parent will throw allegations back, leaving it to the court to decide which parent is really telling the truth and which parent the children are better off with.
When to Be Concerned
While it is true that sometimes these allegations are fabricated by one parent to keep the children away from the other, the truth is that there are some parents who do things that put their children in danger. They can be abusive, neglectful, or even be completely insensitive to the needs and desires of the child. As a result, the court can remove custodial rights or reduce them greatly out of concern for what is beneficial for the children.
One area that is almost always going to garner additional concerns by the court is when one or both parents have shown some kind of drug history either currently or in the past. When the court has become aware that the parent or parents have a history of issues that could put the children in danger because of their drug or alcohol use, there are several different kinds of actions they can take to protect the children.
One of those is to require court-ordered drug testing. This may seem like an outrageous intrusion by the court on the individual parent’s rights, but the truth of the matter is that the court is ensuring the child is not put in danger.
Court Ordered Drug Testing in Child Custody Case
There are lots of people who consider drug usage to be no big deal, especially if you are talking about marijuana or alcohol use, because in some states marijuana is legal and alcohol is legal in all states. Drugs are prescribed to some parents to help treat ailments, so holding usage of these drugs against a parent seems unfair to them.
It is the court’s obligation to ensure the safety and welfare of the children. The court may view that a parent who is using marijuana on a regular basis is not fit to be supervising children, especially children that are impressionable and may decide to start using the drug themselves.
If a parent has received DUIs or has been arrested for drunken-related behavior, this can also sound an alarm to the court that they need to take action to protect the children. The last thing the court wants to see is a child killed because the parent was driving while intoxicated.
There are also instances where parents have had arrests or have spent time in rehabilitation centers because of their addiction to other kinds of drugs. The more serious the kind of drug is, the more concerned the court may be. While not being judgmental, the court may recognize that a person who has had a strong addiction to opioids or other kinds of drugs can face a real challenge staying away from these drugs. They are extremely addictive and so additional protections are necessary to ensure the safety of the children.
The Many Ways Drug Use is a Concern
The use of the drug is not the only concern. If we speak honestly, the truth is that those who are using illegal drugs are more likely to associate themselves with people who pose a danger to the children as well. If a parent is having a drug dealer come to their home to bring them drugs or they are going to visit a drug dealer to get those drugs, the potential danger to the children is immeasurable.
The court recognizes these factors and believes that it must act to protect the children. This is where such things as court-ordered drug testing can be part of any child custody agreement.
The Court Will Act in the Best Interest of the Child
One thing that many parents fail to realize is that when they have involved the court in their marriage or in their child custody dispute, they have relinquished their right to determine where the child should go. When parents let their anger and their hatred of one another cloud their judgment so much that they refuse to work with one another to resolve issues, including child custody, This gives the court 100% jurisdiction in determining what will happen with the children.
This also means that they can act in any way they deem necessary to protect the children, which includes mandating drug testing as part of that child custody. A parent who fails to abide by the court order is, in essence, relinquishing their rights to the child. That is something the court can rule and will in many instances.
Consult a Family Law Attorney in Arizona
If you are in a situation where the court is looking to issue an order that requires you to take drug testing as part of the child custody process, hire an attorney to assist you. There are those instances where one parent will make an accusation that is unfounded, but the other parent is forced into this kind of testing on a regular basis.
An attorney is always an essential player for you in any court proceeding, and it is not to your advantage to decide to battle it out on your own. Seek the help of an attorney to ensure that your rights are protected, especially in a proceeding like this.
Call the Family Law Team at (480) 467-4348 to discuss your case today.
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