There are a number of reasons why a court may order drug tests during a pending divorce. Active drug use is of extreme relevance with regard to child custody and visitation. Under Texas child custody laws, courts must consider the various factors comprising the “best interests of the child” standard, used nationwide to help ensure a court upholds the child’s best interests during the custody process.
In Texas, evidence that a parent may be engaging in criminal activity and actively using drugs is a major factor that will work against that parent in winning visitation and custody with a minor child, and will undoubtedly prompt the court to approve an opposing party’s request for urine or hair follicle testing.
Requesting a drug test
There is no presumption that every party in a divorce must undergo drug testing. In other words, the court may not necessary order this remedy without evidence to suggest it is necessary. In general, if one parent suspects the other parent may be using drugs or abusing alcohol, that parent must make a motion to the court for an order compelling a drug test. Even better, the parent should attempt to file this motion prior to the court entering its orders on any motions for temporary relief pending the outcome of the divorce.
During the hearing, the court may ask the moving party to present evidence that the parent is likely engaging in drug or alcohol abuse.
Responding to drug testing motion
For the parent on the other end of a motion for drug testing, it is important to respond right away with reasons why drug testing is not necessary and there is no compelling reason for requiring a hair follicle or urine test. If a judge grants the motion, however, the parent should appear for the test and submit to the testing procedures and protocol – as failure to adhere to a court order could result in a contempt of court finding, and will negatively impact the litigant’s chances of a positive child custody outcome.
In the event a drug test renders positive results, the judge will likely grant the parent only supervised visitation with the child until the parent completes drug treatment. The court may also order the parent to submit to random drug testing, particularly if the case involves the Department of Family and Protective Services.
Contact a Texas child custody attorney today!
If you are on either side of a Texas divorce and have questions about the drug testing process, speak with a child custody attorney as soon as possible. Contact the Texas Divorce Lawyer today at 214-265-7630.