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Can I Have My Spouse Tested for Drugs?

Posted by J. Benjamin Stevens | May 18, 2006 | 0 Comments

Michael Sherman of the Alabama Family Law Blog recently answered this question as follows:
If one spouse in a divorce case wants to have the other spouse tested for drugs, they can file a motion and the Judge will decide whether to grant the request. Generally speaking, if custody or visitation is an issue, and there is some reason for suspecting abuse, the Judge will grant the request and require the drug test.
One warning that I give all my clients is that if they request a drug test, assume that the other side will also request one of them and that the Judge will order both parties to be tested. Too frequently I have had my own clients tell me they wanted their spouse tested and that they didn't mind taking a drug test themselves because there was no way the wouldn't pass it. Then inexplicably (the client is always shocked) their spouse passes and they fail.
Do not put yourself (and your lawyer) in that position. In our jurisdiction the Courts are requiring hair follicle tests which purportedly are more accurate and test back farther in time. Whether that is true or not, you don't want to test positive for drugs on the drug screen that you demanded be taken! Of course, the best advice here (particularly if custody of children is at issue) is that if you are using drugs, you don't need to have custody of your children. Or, the converse, if you want custody of your children, do not be using drugs.

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