Initial and random drug testing may be performed to confirm allegations of drug abuse and ensure compliance with court orders.

Heroin and prescription opioid use is on the rise across the country and has become a national epidemic. In Georgia, overdose deaths have jumped by 51 percent since 2015, and courts have seen a correlative rise in child custody cases involving drug use by one or both of the parents. Drug testing, either by agreement between the parties or by order of the Court, is one of several steps that can be taken to protect the children.

If there is an allegation of drug abuse by either parent in a custody case, an initial drug test may be given in an effort to confirm the allegation. One attorney may informally request a drug test by contacting the attorney of the parent allegedly using drugs, or the Judge may order the drug test. Most courts in Georgia have drug testing facilities inside the courthouse, making it a simple matter to order and perform the drug tests while the parties are in court.

Randomly scheduled drug testing is generally ordered in cases where drug abuse has been confirmed. In essence, the parent using drugs is notified that he or she has to submit to an observed drug test within a specified number of hours, and the drug test is performed at a predetermined lab or the courthouse. Both parents’ attorneys, and sometimes the judge, are notified of the drug test results. If the parent does not submit to the testing in a timely manner, fails the drug test, or there is evidence that the parent attempted to falsify the test, they may face serious consequences. These consequences include, but are not limited to, an emergency hearing, suspended or supervised visitation with the child/children, or more frequent drug testing.

Confirmation of drug use through testing is critical in allowing the court to determine the proper course of action in child custody cases. If you suspect that the parent of your child or grandchild is using drugs, it is very important that you act to protect the child. It is also important that the law firm you hire is both knowledgeable in and experienced with the methods used to protect children in such cases. Please call The Millard Law Firm to schedule a consultation to discuss how we can help your family.