Drug and alcohol abuse is a major problem for many families throughout the state of California. This kind of substance abuse can have a significant effect on a marriage as well as child custody proceedings in the aftermath of the divorce. Studies indicate that substance abuse is a leading cause of divorce in California and throughout the United States. It is important to understand how drug and alcohol abuse affect child custody and how drug testing is used in child custody cases in this state.
Even if drug or alcohol abuse was not the main cause of the divorce, one parent may be concerned that their former spouse is using alcohol or drugs in the aftermath of the divorce while they have custody of their child. There is no denying that the abuse of alcohol or drugs can compromise a person’s parenting ability. Not only could this lead to the neglect of a child, but it could also lead to abuse.
In these cases, it is possible for one parent to petition to limit or remove the other parent’s custody or visitation rights. Parents can request that the court implement drug testing into custody proceedings, but this can only be done under certain circumstances.
Drug testing in a custody dispute is going to involve more than just verbal accusations. The truth is that divorces can become emotional, and many people make accusations that may or may not be true. There will need to be some kind of concrete proof that a person’s former spouse is suffering from a drug abuse problem. Evidence to prove this abuse could include:
If a judge does decide that the custody situation warrants drug testing, they will usually opt for the least intrusive method of testing. They may also require that the other parent (the one making accusations of drug abuse) also undergo drug testing.
It is important to remember that a positive drug test will not automatically mean a person loses their parental rights to custody or visitation. Any positive drug test that comes back will be weighed alongside other evidence related to a custody case. The ultimate goal of the California family court system is to ensure the child is being properly cared for.
If you have questions about how drug abuse affects child custody in California, you need to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. We understand that these issues can be emotional and challenging. The compassionate child custody attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi are ready to explain the ins and outs of drug testing and help you ensure that your child is properly cared for. When you need a Westlake Village child custody attorney, you can contact us for a consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 805-379-4550.