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Drug testing could come into play during child custody process

As a parent, you certainly want to do what you can for your children. Of course, as you face personal struggles of your own, you may worry how particular issues could impact your ability to spend time with your children. For instance, if you have a drug or alcohol abuse problem, you may have legitimate concerns when it comes to how those issues will affect child custody arrangements.

If you currently face divorce proceedings, you may fear that your soon-to-be ex-spouse will make claims of drug or alcohol abuse against you. These claims could have serious impacts, and if evidence exists that support these claims, you could find yourself facing drug testing. Additionally, you may fear what the results could mean for the time you have to spend with your kids.

Types of testing

If the court believes that testing for drugs or alcohol needs to occur, you could potentially go through different types of tests. Some of the most common types of tests include:

  • Urine screenings -- These tests can often detect the most recent use of drugs or alcohol. However, after a certain period of time, this method may not have a substantial amount of reliability as drugs or alcohol leaves the system.
  • Hair testing -- This process involves an examination of your hair to detect drug or alcohol use. Using body hair can often provide a longer period of detection than that of head hair. However, this method cannot detect drug or alcohol use within two weeks before taking the sample.
  • Nail testing -- Fingernails and toenails could also go under scrutiny for this type of testing. This method can provide an extended length of time for detection as a toenail test could potentially give results for up to one year prior to collection. However, it cannot show usage within two weeks prior to collection.

Blood and breath tests also often come into use when courts require individuals to go under drug or alcohol testing.

Custody outcomes

If you do undergo drug or alcohol testing and the results give cause for concern, the court may rule against you when it comes to custody decisions. This type of outcome may seem devastating to you. Luckily, you do have legal options for dealing with such a scenario.

As with any family law situation, you have the right to obtain legal representation and fight for the outcomes you desire. If custody results do not work in your favor due to drug or alcohol test results, you may still have options for going through rehabilitation and possibly seeking custody modifications later.

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