Often in child custody or child support battles, a parent or guardian will be asked to submit to a drug screen. This can come about due one parent's insistence that the other participates in the drug screen or by the judge's independent decision to order one or both parents to submit to drug testing.
Tracepoint understands the sensitive nature of drug tests performed for legal matters like custody and child support, and we believe that our clients should be well informed on every aspect of the process. That's why we have compiled this rundown of 4 key considerations in taking a drug test for these purposes.
1. Timing is Key
According to family law experts LaMantia Law Firm, "Once a drug allegation is made, it is imperative to take quick and decisive steps to either prove or disprove the allegation, depending on which side of the aisle you fall on as a parent. Drug testing is usually the primary way to do just that."
2. Determining Which Test Type is Required or Preferred
A variety of test types may be permissible for child custody or child support enforcement purposes, but the judge may specify which type of specimen and test panel is required.
If a certain test type is not specified by the judge, it may be up to the parent taking the test to choose an appropriate specimen type (Urine or Hair) and panel (standard 5-panel, 10-panel, or a more expansive option).
Urine tests are a quick and convenient option and are often used for court-related purposes. They are also the most affordable option for screening a variety of substances. A standard 5-panel urine screen tests for Amphetamines, Cocaine, THC, PCP, and Opiates. 10-panel and other, more expansive options are also available, which test for a wider array of substances and can include commonly abused prescription medications.
Hair tests are generally more expensive than urine tests, but they offer a wider window of detection than urine tests do. While most substances will be undetectable beyond a 30-day window in a urine test, they may be detected for up to 90 days in a hair test.
3. Understanding the MRO Process
Regardless of which type of drug test is chosen for child support or custody purposes, it is important to ensure that the results will be reviewed by a Medical Review Officer or MRO.
The MRO's role is to verify prescription information or other necessary documentation in the event of a positive result before the test results are released. In other words, if a legally prescribed medication causes a positive result within the expected potency levels, the MRO will verify the available documentation and release the result for that substance as negative.
4. Choosing a Drug Test Provider You Trust
The Tracepoint team is well versed in drug testing for court purposes, including child support enforcement and child custody. We handle each client's drug test with the utmost professionalism and confidentiality and offer quick turnaround times on drug test results.
Call today for more information or to schedule an appointment!