How is substance testing used in the family court?

Custody cases can be a difficult time for all involved; they can bring up the past and have an immediate impact on a family’s life. This can make everyone involved in the case feel frustrated and worried. Obviously, that might be further amplified by the question of substance misuse.

The key point that the court looks at is “what’s in the best interests of the child”. Who can offer them a safe, stable home with the best quality of life?

To get a more enhanced understanding of what’s best for the child, the court may order alcohol and drug testing in child custody cases.

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Why are alcohol and drug tests ordered by the court in custody cases?

If there is a suspicion of substance misuse, the court may decide alcohol or drug testing in child custody cases is needed to help determine the right outcome. The suspicion of alcohol or drug misuse could stem from witness testimony or a previous track record.

The alcohol and drug test results, along with a MIFA report will become part of the evidential picture. This will aid the court in deciding where to place the child. It provides valuable details to ensure that children live in a healthy environment with suitable parents or guardians.

Court-approved drug and alcohol testing in child custody cases

Drug and alcohol testing process:

  1. The solicitor will get in contact with Atkinson Lewis after the judge has requested a substance test.
  2. We have experienced sample collectors and phlebotomists who can meet the client in a convenient place, such as the client’s home or solicitor’s office.
  3. The samples are then sent via a chain of custody to our alcohol and drug testing lab.
  4. After the alcohol or drug test results are received, our medical expert will review and analyse them.
  5. They will then write a straightforward (painless) enhanced report for the court. The turnaround time for this is 5 working days.
  6. The report will then be used as part of the evidential picture. It enables the judge to make an informed decision regarding the child’s living arrangements and any access or visitation allowed.
Read more about our hair drug testing service
Hair and drug testing in child custody cases - Expert witness report

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