Over the last several weeks I have been discussing the most common methods of drug and/or alcohol testing utilized by courts in Texas in divorce and child custody cases. Failing a drug and/or alcohol test during a divorce or child custody case will have a negative impact on the custody issues involved in your case. There are several things that Texas courts commonly order when a party fails a drug and/or alcohol test during the pendency of a divorce or child custody case.

The first thing that you should expect to happen if you fail drug and/or alcohol test in Texas is for the Court to order that your periods of possession of and access to your children shall be supervised. The duration of the supervision will depend upon several factors. Family law matters in Texas are very factually driven, and the Courts have a lot of discretion regarding the remedies and precautionary measures that they order for the protection of the children. One factor for the Court to consider is the level of the illegal substance and/or alcohol found in a person’s system. For example, persons who have used drugs on a frequent and consistent basis will likely have their possession of and access to their children supervised for a longer period of time. 

If the Court orders supervised possession the Court can order that your possession of your children take place at a supervising facility. The Court could also order a qualified individual to supervise your possession, or the Court could order a person that is agreed upon by the parents to supervise the possession. If the Court orders a facility or a qualified individual to supervise your possession it will likely be expensive. Most supervisors, whether a facility or individual, charge by the hour to supervise possession of children. 

Additionally, the Court could, and likely will, order a person that has failed a drug and/or alcohol test during the pendency of a divorce or child custody case to attend Alcoholics Anonymous and/or Narcotics Anonymous on a regular basis. The Court could also order the person to submit to a substance abuse evaluation that will be conducted by a qualified professional, in order to determine the extent of any issues with substance abuse and/or dependence. If ordered, a substance abuse evaluation will be an added cost that you will be responsible for.

Finally, the Court will likely also order you to submit to random drug and/or alcohol screening for several months and/or years if you test positive on a test. The cost for random alcohol testing is an important factor to be aware of. A urinalysis alcohol and/or drug test can range is cost from $50.00 to $100.00 per test. A hair test and/or nail test can range in cost from $100.00 to $200.00 per test. Some courts order testing to occur at least once every thirty days. Other courts order random testing to take place more frequently. If random testing is ordered you are usually allowed anywhere from as little as 3 hours to as many as 24 hours to submit to a test upon receipt of notice that a test is being requested. Random drug and/or alcohol testing can be an expensive inconvenience.