If you are separated from your spouse and are pursuing child custody, you must look out for the best interest of your child. If you suspect that your spouse has a problem with drugs or alcohol, you may ask the court to order a drug test for your spouse while you are going through your custody negotiations. While the court may make you take one too, there can be many benefits in doing so. Here are a few.
1. Protects Your Child
The court may award you and your spouse joint or shared custody, or it may give your spouse unsupervised visitation. In both instances, your child may spend time with their other parent when you are not around.
If you suspect that your spouse has a substance abuse problem, your child may not be entirely safe when they are with your spouse. While your child can benefit from an ongoing relationship with both you and your spouse, their safety and security must always be first and foremost.
When a person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they do not always make the best decisions. These decisions can place your child in dangerous situations, which may include unsupervised periods of time and exposure to dangerous people and sets of circumstances.
2. Limits or Revokes Custody and Visitation
If the court determines that your spouse has an untreated addiction, they may consider modifying the original custody order or requiring that all visits be supervised. This supervision may be performed by you, a family member, a neutral third party, a therapist, or other professional staff.
The court could order the visits to take place in a neutral location. This ensures a safe and secure environment for the visits.
The court may also order your spouse into treatment. Failure to comply with this order could easily impact any further contact your spouse is allowed to have with your child.
3. Provides Grounds for Your Divorce
South Carolina is one of a few states that allow you to file for an at-fault divorce. In these proceedings, you can tell the court that your spouse is responsible for the end of your marriage if you can prove it.
Habitual drunkenness caused by drug use is one the grounds for filing for divorce. You don’t have to prove your spouse has an addiction if you file a no-fault divorce. However, if you can prove an addiction, you can benefit from filing an at-fault divorce.
If you file an at-fault divorce instead of a no-fault divorce, you may benefit from your advantage over your spouse during the divorce proceedings. These benefits will often result in more favorable custody, spousal support, and property distribution orders from the court.
How Do You Get the Court to Order a Drug Test?
Unfortunately, during a separation and subsequent divorce, both parties tend to make a lot of accusations. Just because you accuse your spouse of having an addiction does not mean that the court will believe you. In order to prove to the court that your spouse has a drug addiction, you may want to submit the following:
- Medical records
- Prior drug treatment
- Eye-witness testimony
- Criminal records of any past drug charges, convictions, and more
You can use these records to meet the court's standard of preponderance of the evidence and show that your allegation of their addiction is more likely to be true than not.
Don’t attempt to get your spouse drug tested on your own. The law office of Paul A. Meding, Attorney at Law can help you get it done. Give us a call today to discuss your specific case.