This is the third post in my series on changing child custody in Melbourne, Florida when the other parent is believed to be abusing drugs. My last post explained how to file a Petition to Change Custody on the basis of drug use. It is important to understand that you cannot simply take custody of the child. You must go through the Court process. In this post I will discuss another important topic – conducting discovery so that you can prove the other parent is using a controlled substance. Proving the matter is critical and it is suggested you retain a child custody attorney to assist you.
Child custody attorneys can use the discovery process in Melbourne child custody cases which involve drug abuse
Discovery is the process by which information is obtained from the other side in a lawsuit involving child custody (which is referred to as “timeshare” in Florida). For multiple reasons this is an important process in cases involving drug abuse. In addition to obtaining drug testing of the other parent, it is possible to take the depositions of people who regularly observe how that parent interacts with the child. Witnesses may state whether they believe the other parent to have been high on narcotics while caring for the child and if they appeared impaired past the point of being able to do so. Witnesses may also testify as to whether they have actually observed the other parent using drugs. Courts have little patience for drug abuse in child timeshare cases and such evidence may be enough to win a custody modification.
There are other tools besides depositions which can be used to uncover drug use. If you believe your ex to be abusing prescription medications then a HIPPA release can be obtained. This will, in turn, allow you to gain your ex’s medical records and prescription history. If the other parent tests for narcotics at a level which exceeds their prescription then, again, the Court would be likely to modify custody. It is also possible to obtain a criminal records release and determine whether arrests have been made related to addiction issues.
Melbourne residents, and others in our area, must understand that discovery is a complicated process. If your requests are not timely made then you may not be able to obtain the information. Also, there are specific rules which must be followed when making these requests. Retaining a lawyer to assist can improve your chances of obtaining the information you need.
Your attorney can obtain employment records in Brevard County child custody cases to establish whether the other parent is using drugs
Another way to establish whether the other parent is using drugs is to obtain their employment records. Many employers conduct drug tests as a condition of employment and it is not uncommon for employees to be randomly drug tested. Results of these tests will be kept in one’s employment file and it is possible to obtain such records as part of discovery in a Brevard County child custody case.
Contact our Melbourne child custody attorney today if you believe your child’s other parent is using illegal narcotics. I also service the cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.