I Suspect my Ex of Doing Drugs in the Presence of our Child, What can I do to Gain Custody?

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“I live in Colorado. My ex-wife left my son (now 9) and I for 5 years. During those 5 years, I raised our son alone. My ex-wife occasionally requested to visit with our son- approx. once every 2 months. My ex-wife and I were finally divorced this last year and after she lied in court, she was awarded custody of our 8 year old son – even though I raised him completely! Anyway, my son has recently told me that he found “pot” and “pot tubes” in his mother’s kitchen drawer. He also stated that he saw his mom’s live- in-boyfriend smoking one of these pipes with his friends. My son has told me repeatedly that he thinks his mom is using drugs too. He is constantly asking when he can come home. I currently have visitation with my son 2 out of 3 weekends. I have filed an appeal with the court- for custody of my son. Is there anything I can do to have my ex-wife drug tested at random? My son said he does not feel safe there.”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

As part of the proceedings, you can request drug testing, and the Court can order it or not. You can also request that an order be put in place that neither party is to use illegal drugs, or allow others to do so, in the presence of your son. The Court might order this. If it is of a medical nature, that does, of course change the dynamic.

Generally if parties do not reach an agreement regarding custody and visitation, the court will appoint some health care professional (an assessor in California) to review the family circumstances and make a recommendation. If you came out on the wrong end of an assessment, then it would take expert testimony (i.e. a competing professional) to get the court appointed professional’s opinion overturned.

You could file another round of papers, call child services or the police. Your son will eventually need things between you and the ex to calm down to give him the best chance to grow up to be a happy, healthy adult.

Sometimes it takes time for a proper parenting plan to come to fruition. In retrospect, you should have filed for custody during those other five years (!), but hindsight is 20/20. Do what you can now for what is best for his future.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.

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