Can I Lose Visitation Rights if I Test Positive for Drugs?

All custody decisions made by the Courts have to do with the best interests of your children. If a court believes you’re using illegal drugs (or abusing legal ones), it can affect your custody and visitation.

If your ex suspects you’re using drugs, they can file a motion to have you drug tested. The court won’t automatically grant this request. The other party will have to submit some evidence that you are indeed using drugs.

Some of this evidence includes:

  • Medical records
  • Criminal history
  • Third party eye witnesses
  • Reports from social welfare agencies

If the judge finds this evidence convincing, they will order you to take a drug test.

If you’ve been accused of abusing drugs, your custody and visitation can be negatively impacted. You need to call a Houston family law attorney right away. You won’t have a lot of time to respond to this motion. You’re going to want an experienced lawyer by your side.

What Happens if You Fail the Drug Test?

If the judge believes you’re abusing drugs, they’ll order you to take a drug test. This may happen right in the courthouse on the day of your hearing.

If you fail the test, there will be consequences. Each case is different. However, the judge is more than likely going to terminate or suspend your visitation rights. This is especially true if you’re caring for young children or kids with special needs.

The judge has an obligation to protect your children. If they think you’re using drugs, they need to make sure you don’t pose a risk to your kids. Illegal drug use presents the following issues for your children:

  • Exposes them to illegal drugs
  • Increases the chances for abuse and neglect
  • Indicates an unhealthy environment for your children to be living in

The judge has a responsibility to your children to make sure they’re not with a parent who isn’t capable for caring for them. Your Houston family law attorney will work to show the court that you aren’t a threat to your children. However, if you do test positive for drugs, you should do whatever it is the judge recommends.

What are Your Options if You Test Positive?

If you test positive for drugs, your judge is going to make certain recommendations. You may be asked to go to rehab. At a minimum, you’ll be asked to go to counseling and parenting classes. It’s in your best interests to do whatever the judge tells you to do.

If you do go to rehab, be prepared for your visitation schedule to change. Your rights may be suspended while you’re in rehab. Or, you may be granted supervised visitation. Whatever the judge grants you, take advantage of it.

Understand that it will take some time to get your relationship with your children back. However, there is nothing that should be more important than this. If you do what the judge says to do, you will have a good chance at getting your rights restored.

Will You Get Your Rights Back?

You have to remember – it’s good public policy to keep children together with their parents. The courts don’t want to keep you away from your kids. They want to do what they can to keep families together.

Once you’ve done everything the court asks you to do, you can petition to have your rights restored. It may take time and it may happen gradually. But, if you do the right thing, you will eventually get your kids back.

It’s important that, even after you complete rehab, you do what you can to continue treatment Show the judge that you are serious about staying clean. Your Houston family law attorney can help you do this. They can submit proof to the courts that you’re doing what was asked of you. They can also help you file a petition to restore your visitation rights.

Call an Experienced Houston Family Law Attorney About Visitation Rights

If you’re facing losing visitation rights of your children due to drug use, you need to call an experienced family lawyer at Eddington & Worley today. There is so much at stake, you don’t want to handle this yourself. Your attorney can stand by your side when you deal with these issues.

If you are struggling with drug addiction, it’s not the end of the world. You may have to work hard to prove that you’re a fit parent. However, it’s worth the effort and costs to do this.