Substance abuse issues affect thousands of people all over the U.S. and can play a major role in the decision to get a divorce. In the event of a divorce or separation, a court order typically gives one party primary custody of any minor children.
In some cases, the court can place restrictions on the custody rights of one parent. A spouse who suffers from substance abuse issues could face a number of requirements, including submitting to a hair follicle drug test for child custody.
If you have questions about child custody arrangements in Texas, contact The Larson Law Firm today so we can review your case.
Child Custody Orders in Texas
Most divorce proceedings do not automatically require hair follicle testing in custody cases. However, when a drug issue presents a danger to the children involved, that can change. During divorce proceedings, the court enters a possession order that says when each parent has the right to time with their child.
Under Texas Family Code 153.252, Texas courts presume that a Standard Possession Order is in the best interest of a child that is three or older. If the parents live within 100 miles of each other, the noncustodial parent has the right to possession:
- 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends of every month;
- Thursday evenings during the school year;
- Alternating holidays; and
- An extended period of time (30 days) during summer vacation.
If the parents do not live within 100 miles of each other, the noncustodial parent has the right to possession:
- The weekend schedule may stay the same or be reduced to once per month;
- Alternative holidays; and
- A longer period of time (42 days) during summer vacation and every spring break.
The court can change anything it determines is not in the child’s best interest.
Who Needs to Take a Hair Follicle Drug Test in a Custody Battle?
If the judge is concerned about the child’s safety, the judge can apply restrictions to a parent’s time with the child, such as ordering supervision. Judges can require a parent to satisfy other requirements, like taking a hair follicle drug test for child custody in Texas.
If your co-parent files a motion requesting a court-ordered drug test, you should respond to the request immediately. An experienced divorce attorney can help craft a response detailing why there are no compelling reasons for the drug test.
In most cases, the court will not just rely on your ex-spouse’s word that you struggle with drugs. The court will require some evidence of your substance abuse issues. That could include:
- Police reports;
- Witness testimony; or
- Medical reports.
If your spouse insists that you take a drug test, make sure they take one too. If you pass your drug test and they fail theirs, this can help your chances of receiving more time with your child.
What Type of Drug Test Is Used in Custody Cases?
The kind of drug tests available in child custody cases include:
- Hair follicle tests;
- Urine tests;
- Saliva tests; and
- Blood tests.
Most drug tests can detect drug use spanning back as far as 30 days and even longer in some cases. In cases of established alcohol issues, the court could mandate alcohol testing. However, many drugs remain in your system longer than alcohol does. So drug tests typically detect controlled substances for a longer period than alcohol tests detect alcohol.
What Happens if I Fail a Hair Follicle Drug Test for Child Custody?
The overarching theme of child custody cases involves the court acting in the best interest of the child or children. Judges typically consider even minimal drug use as harmful to a child’s wellbeing.
While a positive drug test will likely not restrict your child custody entirely, you could find yourself subject to much stricter supervision during your visits. Essentially, the court wants to ensure that you do not engage in illegal or harmful activity while spending time with your child.
Asked to Take a Hair Follicle Drug Test for Custody in Texas? Contact an Attorney with The Larson Law Firm Today
Every parent wants what is best for their child. If you are involved in a custody dispute, you need an experienced and aggressive Texas child custody attorney to represent you, including times that hair follicle drug test legal issues arise.
At The Larson Law Office, we provide personalized service to every one of our clients, a trait that sets us apart from other law firms. We are an AV® Preeminent™ Peer-Review Rated law firm, the highest rating given by Martindale-Hubbell for ethical standards, legal ability, and professional achievement.
With decades of combined legal experience, we are confident in our ability to answer any of your questions. Contact us today to get started.