Importance of Drug and Alcohol Testing in Family Law cases
“Family Law defines the legal attributes of the status, for example, the mutual rights and obligations of the married couple and provides remedies for regulating the relationship of the parties. Family Law determines the status of a child and provides mechanisms for regulating the exercise of parental responsibility.”
James Munby spoke on the social justice for children and families and outlined the aims of the family justice system. He concluded with the ultimate aim stressing that the system must be about ‘securing social justice for children and their families.’
In specific circumstances in family law cases 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.
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
Medical Review Service
Our comprehensive medical review service offers independent and expert examination of positive results under medical confidentiality. As a cause for concern, positive results are recognised as a serious trade issue in all areas of drug and alcohol testing be it employee testing, testing carried out for family law issues or forensic toxicology.
A medical review report provides a detailed analysis of results to determine if there is a legitimate medical reason for positive results. Performed by a Medical Review Officer (MRO) the assessment involves a donor’s medical background to determine if, for example, a donor is taking or has taken in the recent past any prescriptive medication that may have affected results.
Our medical review service ensures confidence in results by eradicating any wrongful conclusions being made while helping to protect the rights of the person being tested and the person requiring the testing.
Family Law solicitors involved in care proceedings must take seriously the consequences of a parent or guardian testing positively for drugs or alcohol. The wrongful conclusion of a positive test result could lead to child parent separation for those involved in a custody battle or child protection case and cause unnecessary stress and anguish. A medical review protects the rights of all involved and ensures trust in the legal sector is maintained by determining legitimate reasons for a positive result while eradicating false conclusions from being made.
Expert Witness Report
An expert witness report is a document providing a detailed outline of the drug and alcohol testing procedure followed and an interpretation of the results found. It is used as objective evidence in court and provides a detailed explanation of whether or not substances tested for were detected as well as information regarding chain of custody compliance.
Family law solicitors or social services may require an expert witness report for use in care proceedings relating to a dispute over the custody of children, or an issue concerning child protection. An expert witness report ensures non-biased and factual evidence for use in family court and guarantees confidence in results by ensuring sample integrity has been maintained throughout the testing process. In addition strict chain of custody procedures guarantees donor confidentiality which is vital in family court care proceedings.
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