How To Prove Substance Abuse for Family Law Cases

Substance abuse significantly affects both the mind and body. For instance, it can lead to digestive problems, heart disease, learning difficulties, poor memory, and anxiety.

In family law cases, if parents are suspected of substance abuse, child arrangements are affected. If determined by the court that substance abuse issues could influence the ability to provide safety, shelter, and food to a child, parents can lose their custody of a child.

However, the other party needs to back up their claims. Keep reading to learn how to prove substance abuse for family law cases.

How To Prove Substance Abuse for Family Law Cases
Addictive substances, including alcohol, cigarettes and drugs.

What Should You Do If Your Child’s Other Parent Is Suspected Of Drug Abuse?

Loving parents who care about the welfare of their children would want to ensure that they are in a safe home where they can be happy and healthy. But some parents struggle and fail to fulfill their responsibilities because of alcohol or drug abuse. So, if you’ve got a spouse or a former partner who is showing signs of substance abuse and isn’t being honest about it, you can ask that they take a drug test.

The family court will order your child’s other parent to test for illegal drugs when you inform them of it. Drug testing is required to protect children, especially during child arrangement proceedings. It’s also essential even for those allegedly charged with DUI. If the other party refuses to do so, it will be difficult for them to obtain the ideal result of the case. The court will decide based on the children’s best interests.

How Will A Court-Ordered Drug Testing Proceed?

The court must have proof that a parent remains drug-free for the well-being of their children. Those who live in the UK can get a free drug test and are entitled to confidentiality as well.

There are different types of drug testing that individuals can take. Solicitors enlist the help of laboratories, such as Lextox, to perform testing on hair, urine, saliva, and nail clippings. The variation in testing is due to the different types of illegal drugs only detectable through specific tests.

  1. Hair Drug Testing

Hair drug testing, for example, can provide the solicitor and the court profile spanning three months of drug abuse. Consuming drugs travel in the bloodstream to the hair follicles, where they’ll stay for some time. A three-centimeter scalp hair can give a full report on drug levels in the system. The detection window can range up to 12 months, depending on the laboratory.

  1. Saliva Testing

Swabbing is a typical collection of saliva for drug testing. A healthcare professional will ask you not to eat or drink 10 minutes before swabbing, as it may interfere with testing accuracy. Saliva testing will help reveal substances, including cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines, opiates, and barbiturates.

  1. Urine Testing

Like saliva testing, urine testing is used to determine alcohol and drug abuse. It can help determine specific drugs and medicines in your body.

You’ll be given a specimen cup for urination and be asked to produce at least 45mm for accurate testing. Once done, you return the cup to a lab technician.

Urine testing detects substances, such as PCP, methadone, methamphetamines, opioids.

  1. Fingernail Testing

Laboratories also collect nail clippings since drugs are easily detectable in them. Fingernails are made of keratin, the same as hair strands. The substances are trapped in keratin fibers underneath the nail. Clippings up to three millimeters long can produce up to six months of drug or alcohol abuse history.

Procedure On Drug-Testing Request

There are two ways to request drug testing. The court will consider your request even if it isn’t granted right away. You can choose to inform the court of your suspicions of drug abuse by your current or former partner, or you can allow your attorney to request on your behalf.

To request drug testing, you or the solicitor must provide proof that the other parent is using illegal drugs through witness accounts, medical records, photographs, and text messages, to name a few. The court will order drug testing if necessary, depending on the child’s welfare and type of case. In addition, they might require the test results as evidence, which will let them place the child in a loving and safe environment.


Drug testing can help detect and prove substance abuse in family law cases. It’s an essential part of child arrangements proceedings, particularly when a parent declares that the other is using drugs. Once a request has been made, the court will determine if it’s vital based on the circumstances surrounding the case. Moreover, they consider the children’s welfare and decide on drug testing if a substantial allegation of noncompliance and proof of drug dependency are involved.