Drug and Alcohol Testing in Domestic Relations Court
There are times where drug or alcohol use are relevant for family court proceedings, particularly in matters involving parenting time. A motion for alcohol and/or drug testing can be requested in connection with an emergency motion to restrict parenting time or any regular parenting time action. If a parent's ability to care for children is substantially impaired by substance use, then the children may be in danger. A parent can ask that another receive drug and alcohol testing under appropriate circumstances. Requirements are that there must be (1) a controversy regarding the mental or physical condition of a party to the case or a person under the legal control of a party to the case; (2) a motion for good cause shown; and (3) notice to the person to be examined, as well as all other parties, concerning the time, place, manner, conditions, and scope of the examination and the person or persons by whom it is to be made.
When filing a motion for testing, it is helpful to submit a sworn affidavit in support testing, including details of how the alleged drugs impact the children. A parent may request in the motion (1) testing frequency; (2) testing duration; (3) access to test results; (4) a requirement to execute a release for the results; (5) protection of the results and; and (6) consequences for a failure to comply.
Drug and alcohol testing is invasive, therefore a request is not automatically granted. The motion and affidavit must be served on the opposing party as is the case with any other document filed in the case. The motion must also be filed in time to allow the testing to be completed no later than 28 days prior to a hearing so the other party is placed on notice and has a reasonable opportunity to respond. The person subject to the testing may respond to the motion in 21 days.
The motion should identify what substances should be tested for, the preferred type of test, and the name of the proposed testing facility. Several types of drug and alcohol testing are available, including urine analysis, breathalyzers, blood serum analysis, saliva analysis, and hair follicle testing. The choice of test may depend on substance and suspected frequency of use. Many substances are no longer detectible in urine after 48 to 72 hours, so because of the notice requirement, a parent may have time to clear substances from his or her body before the court can issue a testing order. On the other hand, certain substances can be detected in hair follicle testing for up to 90 days, however alcohol is difficult to detect in a hair follicle sample. Therefore it is important to put some thought into what type of test would be appropriate under the circumstances.Janko Law - Is It Time for a Change?
Divorce and family law matters are difficult to navigate alone. The court system is more complex than it should be. With offices in Colorado Springs and Denver, we can guide you through the experience by handling pleading and motion preparation and filing, negotiation, mediation, and court proceedings from start to finish. This allows you to focus on moving forward to a better future rather than on trying to figure out how the overly complex court system works. Remember that change often creates new opportunity and a better future. Janko Law can help ensure that your best interests and the best interests of your family are protected. Contact us at 720-780-0115 or complete our online form to set up a free thirty-minute informational consultation.