When Might Family Law Drug and Alcohol Testing Be Required?

Family law testing for drugs and alcohol may be required by various professional bodies involved in child custody cases, care proceedings or child protection cases. In cases regarding divorce and children, a dispute may arise during the process of discussions involving the custody of children. In these cases drug and alcohol testing may be sought if there has been a substance abuse claim against a parent fighting for custody or visitation. Tests may be sought by family law solicitors or mediators during the stage of family law mediation, or requested by the family court during court proceedings. In cases relating to child protection, social services may seek drug and alcohol testing if child welfare claims have been made regarding suspected parental substance misuse.

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Why is Drug and Alcohol Testing in Family Law Cases Important?

Family law drug and alcohol testing is important to ensure child protection from the detrimental effects of parental substance misuse and to ensure they have a quality of life they deserve. In addition it is also important to enable parents the opportunity to get the help and support they need and begin rehabilitation treatment. Doing the right thing by the child is the main priority, and where possible parent and child relationships are sought to be maintained. Drug and alcohol testing assists in these efforts and in such cases abstinence monitoring testing may be required to assess a parent’s recovery i.e. if a visitation case is being reassessed.

Effects of Parental Substance Misuse

Parental substance misuse has serious consequences for child protection and effects child welfare in various ways from emotional distress to physical harm.

Emotional Distress

The abuse of drugs and alcohol affects a parent’s ability to provide practical and emotional care leaving the child neglected, alone, and forced to try and care for themselves. In many cases they become young carers of addicted parents or younger siblings which can cause emotional stress. The child may also become anxious and fearful about what may happen if anyone finds out about their situation. This may result in social exclusion as they isolate themselves from their peers in efforts to keep their parent’s substance misuse issues secret.

Physical Harm

Physical harm can also be a consequence of parental substance misuse. If a child is being neglected they will likely not be receiving the nutrition they require and may also suffer physical ailments as a result of stress. In addition some parents may also abuse their children due to the effects of drugs and alcohol on their mood and behaviour. Evidence shows parental substance misuse in 57% of serious case reviews involving serious or fatal child abuse while more is believed to have gone unrecognised due to there being no routine screening for parental substance misuse.

Lifetime Issues

In addition to physical and emotional harm, lifetime issues can be an impact of growing up with a parent or guardian with drug abuse problems or alcohol misuse issues. Education may be affected as a result of missing school to care for their parent or siblings, or from dropping out of school altogether. The emotional stress may also have lasting damaging on a child’s mental health into adulthood, and in some cases children grow up to become addicts themselves. Research has found that children of problematic drug and alcohol users are seven times more likely to develop a problem themselves.

How Can Randox Testing Services Assist?

We provide drug and alcohol testing to all professionals within the family law sector including family law solicitors, family law barristers, local authorities, social services, and the family court. We understand the impact a positive result can have on a parent, child, and extended family, and ensure results of the highest precision and accuracy. With over 30 years’ experience in the diagnostic industry we have gained reputation as a trusted provider and have been described by previous customers as providing ‘exceptional testing’ solutions.

Our drug and alcohol testing solutions are flexible and can be tailored to your needs with a choice of testing methods. We offer the most comprehensive drugs of abuse test menu on the market and our innovative Biochip Array Technology allows multiple different drugs to be tested for from one small sample. To tailor a package that suits your requirements we offer expert guidance and advice.

In addition, we offer enhanced accuracy in results with provision of our medical review service to ensure any legitimate reasons for positive test results are sought. This is extremely important within family law testing as the impact of false reporting can be detrimental to a child’s life. In addition our expert witness service provides expert witness reports written by our scientific experts and can provide expert witness statements in court upon request. This service offers impartial test reporting to eliminate bias from professionals and parents involved in care proceedings, child protection cases or custody battles.

  • Did You Know?

      • More than 100 children, including children as young as 5, contact ChildLine every week with worries about a parent’s drinking or drug use (NSPCC)
      • Approximately 250,000 – 350,000 children in the UK live with a parent who has a drug misuse problem (ACMD, 2011)
      • An estimated 2.6 million children in the UK are living with parents who drink hazardously, and 705,000 are living with dependent drinkers (Manning et al., 2009)
      • Alcohol plays a part of 25-33% of known cases of child abuse in the UK (The Children’s Society, 2010)

Benefits of Randox Testing Services

    • Guaranteed results in 3 working days
    • Fully validated laboratory methods accredited to ISO/IEC 17025: 2005
    • Strict chain of custody procedures in place; maintains sample integrity from point of collection to result reporting
    • Strictly vetted collection officers
    • Extensive drugs panel
    • Complimentary CPD training available
    • Trusted supplier to UK police forces
  • Contact us to find out more about our services

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