Drug Testing Family Court Order?
By Jeff J. Horn, Esquire
Who can order a Drug Testing?
The court can order you to submit to Drug Testing as part of the family court case.
Voluntary Drug Testing
Tactically, you may submit voluntarily for a Drug test. Clean or sober it gets the case moving in one direction or the other. If you have a real Drug issue, attack it. Hiding it rarely works for long.
Drug Testing by DCPP
Both parent Drug Testing. It is routine in child abuse or neglect cases. DCPP Family Court judges expect you to comply with orders for Drug Testing.
Drug Test – commonly ordered in Family Court.
Family Court judges order Drug Testing as part of an analysis of the best interest of the children. A positive result – custody and parenting time can be impacted.
What is Drug Testing in Family Court?
Technical pieces of the puzzle
Common Drug Testing collection methods are urine and hair follicle. Blood can also be collected. In Family Court urinalysis is the most common starting point.
Should you submit to Drug Testing?
Caution – lawyer answer – it depends. The spectrum on Drugs and parenting is wide. For example, if you have a known Drug issue, submit to court ordered Drug Testing. In contrast, if your ex, with no evidence, is “mouthing” about Drugs, you may see Drug Testing as a complete breach of your personal sovereignty. Contrary to popular thought, privacy still exists.
If your ex is banging the drum in court so often, you may take a preemptive Drug test. Take the Drug test. Past the Drug test and the issue is done.
Drug Testing is not expensive, there are many labs that can perform a routine urine screen for a wide variety of Drugs – marijuana, amphetamines, opioids, cocaine and our favorite Drug alcohol.
What if you test positive? Do not panic.
Time was, a positive Drug tests for marijuana sent Family Court judges into a tizzy. No more. Family Court judges take a measured view on marijuana use. First of all, marijuana use is legal for medicinal purposes. As I write this in late 2020, marijuana legalization is on the ballot. Marijuana may be completely legal. This does not mean any level of marijuana use is de facto acceptable. Contrast the recreational user with the complete burned-out stoner. If marijuana use impact your life, marijuana use will impact your parenting.
If your case is investigated by DCPP they love Drug testing.
Everyone gets a Drug test. The family court judges pretty much rubber stamp those Drug tests. Even the lightest accusation of Drug use will trigger the DCPP Family Court judge to order Drug Testing. Don’t panic. Even if you have a serious Drug issue,..
Why shouldn’t I panic?
Time out, why should my panic.
DCPP is a monster chameleon. When is a little messy, DCPP will make it 50 times worse. If you are in great need of services, like Drug rehabilitation, DCPP can be an enormous asset. DCPP has the mission of re-unifying parents and children. So, comply fully with Drug Testing and treatment. Leave DCPP with no choice but to give you your kids back – healthy, clean and sober.
Family and divorce court Drug Testing
If you are getting a divorce and your spouse starts jumping up and down about alcohol and Drug use, use good judgment. Significant drug issue? Attack it early in your divorce and family law matter. The court’s job is to reunify children and parents. You will look like the good guy by taking action. Do not let the case slip away because you have a slip during the case.
I represented a delightful woman named Melissa. Her husband Vernon had an on and off Drug and alcohol problem. His problem started from a back injury. He took the prescription medications and got hooked. Got off and got on. He quit drinking he resumed drinking. During the divorce, he drove the young children of the marriage drunk. He was stopped and arrested for driving under the influence. The police had to call DCPP and my client Melissa. Fortunately, Melissa zipped over to the scene and collected the children. DCPP was kept away.
We knew Vernon needed help. Vernon thought he knew better. Vernon went to rehab only too late. Accordingly, Vernon has supervised visitation and will never be fully trusted by Melissa.
Is it easy to get a divorce or family court judge to order a Drug Test?
Not really. To get Drug Testing ordered, you must have some significant evidence. We are talking about reaching someone’s privacy. It should not be breached lightly.
What if I am falsely accused of mis-using Drugs?
You have two paths.
- Stand tall for your constitutional rights to privacy. The government cannot come around and demand that you submit to Drug tests. There has to be proof or consent. I like that as a starting point. The answer is not so black and white.
- Strategically, you may submit to the Drug test and provide the clean results to the court. Now, when your ex is jumping up and down about your Drug use, the court will start to wonder who the real crazy actor is in the case.
By and large, personal liberty and privacy ought to prevail. If there is evidence and good cause, Drug Testing should be ordered. Otherwise, courts should strive to protect privacy interests and balance those with the best interest of the children.