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    At The Land Legal Group, our Los Angeles family law attorneys know when parents are seeking a divorce in California, the next steps are protecting their children from any damaging circumstances. While most parents focus on negotiating child custody, visitation, and parenting plans, others have bigger concerns, like one parent’s substance abuse problem.

    If this is true for your divorce, you may want to file a motion to have the other parent drug tested.

    Keep in mind, this process requires more than an allegation of drug use. It will require evidence that you have a legitimate concern about the welfare of your children.

    Here is what parents need to know about the process.

    What Evidence Do I Need to Petition the California Family Court for a Drug Test During a Child Custody Case?

    First, filing a motion for drug testing requires you to show the other parent has a habitual or continual illegal use of controlled substances — prescribed or otherwise.

    This may include:

    • Your personal, firsthand knowledge and testimony of his or her drug use.
    • Photographs, text messages, emails, or other electronic communication admitting drug use.
    • Medical or rehabilitation facility records.
    • Arrests or other criminal proceedings related to drug abuse.

    Keep in mind the other parent’s privacy may not be violated to obtain some of the necessary evidence. Before you do anything that may jeopardize your request to the court, contact our experienced family law attorneys in Los Angeles to learn more about your legal rights and options to properly obtain the evidence you need to move forward.

    What Happens After You File a Motion for Drug Testing?

    Drug testing hearings typically do not happen immediately. The court will set a hearing date, and the other parent must be served with the motion to appear, which can happen electronically, by mail, or in person.

    The other parent has an opportunity to file and serve their response to contest the hearing, which is typically the case, as no one is willing to admit they have a problem — especially when custody of their children is at stake.

    At the hearing, the judge hears from both parties, and determines what evidence and witness testimony is admissible. The judge has the discretion to order drug testing then or determine the nature and extent of the testing — which may include random or regular tests — to keep the children safe.

    Based on the results, the testing may lead to a modified child custody order that could negate overnight stays or require supervised visitation.

    If you believe your child is in imminent danger because of the other parent’s drug use, talk to your family law attorney about filing an emergency order to remove them from the home. This will help ensure their safety, and that you are handling your divorce following California laws, so you do not inadvertently damage your case before the details are finalized. We can help.

    Contact Our Los Angeles Family Law Attorneys at the Land Legal Group Today

    If you have questions about the other parent’s behavior, including any potential drug use, and how it will impact your child custody case, contact our team of skilled family law attorneys at the Land Legal Group by calling (310) 552-3500 today.

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