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How to Prove Substance Abuse


What kind of testing for substance abuse is available if I suspect the other parent has a substance/alcohol abuse issue?

Family code 3041.5 sets forth that the Court is authorized to order drug or alcohol testing if the Court determines by a preponderance of the evidence that the parent engages in habitual, frequent or continual use of such substances. Testing is confidential and the results are sealed. Two additional considerations relative to this authority are 1) Only urine tests are permissible under Federal law (no hair follicle tests are permitted) & 2) sharing the test results with non-parties can result in an imposition of sanctions both civil and criminal.

I have seen the Courts ask a party in a case whether they would voluntarily consent to a hair follicle test and a party agrees to such tests. Keep in mind that you are under NO obligation to partake in a hair follicle test absent your specific consent to such a test. The judge may not advise you that you do not have to consent to such a test. Also, before you log onto social media and share that the other party had a dirty test or even tell your family members that the other parent had a dirty test, keep in mind that this evidence may be used against you. If you need help in structuring drug/alcohol testing for the other parent or if the other parent is requesting that you undergo testing, contact Covina attorney Paul Eads today.

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