Drug Testing and Child Custody After Drug Addiction: the Charlie Sheen and Brooke Mueller Issue
It’s not an uncommon thing for a family court judge to demand: parents with drug abuse and addiction histories may be required to take drug tests in order to maintain custody of their children. It’s something that both Charlie Sheen and Brooke Mueller were required to do, according to TMZ. And also according to TMZ, that requirement has been removed from their agreement, meaning neither one now has to undergo drug testing in order to maintain custody of their children – mildly troubling given the drug history of both celebs. In the face of Sheen’s increasingly erratic behavior and Mueller repeated trips to drug rehab, it seems like revoking that particular order was a little premature.
But what about when it happens to you? How do you handle it and how do you earn the trust of the judge?
Child Custody Decisions are Made for the Benefit of the Child
Remember that the judge did not order you to undergo drug testing to be vindictive or judgmental. Chances are, he or she made the decision based on the fact that you have a history of drug and/ or alcohol addiction or knowing that you were released from drug rehab within the past year. Both of these factors makes you a high risk for relapse – and therefore, a risk for your children.
Family court judges know that children fare best when being raised by their parents, unless those parents are living with an active addiction. Drug testing is done purely to ensure that the children are being cared for properly and to make sure that they have attentive caregivers. It’s impossible to be that person if you are high, and hopefully, the threat of drug testing and losing your children will be one more reason to stay clean and sober and avoid relapse.
Earning Your Way Out of Drug Testing Requirements
In most cases, if you can demonstrate that you are clean and sober for six months to a year, that you can continually provide your children with a safe and secure place to live, and that your children are doing well and thriving in your care, then most judges will relax their drug testing requirements. You may still have occasional visits from a state employee or be required to check in every six months or so with the family court judge and provide proof that you are still employed and that the children are doing well in school, but over time, the court will recognize your good faith efforts and allow you to continue in the new life that you’ve created for yourself and your family.
What has your experience been with family court after drug addiction treatment? Do you believe that the system is fairly set up to support the best interest of the kids? Leave us a comment!