Drug claims se­ri­ous

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health -

MY ex is ad­dicted to drugs and the kids aren’t safe – what can I do?

Un­for­tu­nately drug abuse is a com­mon prob­lem fac­ing so­ci­ety to­day.

Specif­i­cally, the use of the drug known as ‘ice’ has been re­ferred to as a wide­spread epi­demic. It is there­fore quite com­mon for al­le­ga­tions about drug abuse to be raised by a par­ent in Fam­ily Court pro­ceed­ings.

If a par­ent al­leges that the other par­ent is abus­ing il­licit sub­stances in a way that puts a child at risk of harm, the Fam­ily Court will take these al­le­ga­tions very se­ri­ously.

Un­der the Fam­ily Law Act 1975, the best in­ter­ests of the child are the para­mount con­sid­er­a­tion when mak­ing par­ent­ing or­ders.

The Court has the power to or­der that ei­ther one or both par­ents un­dergo drug test­ing to as­cer­tain whether they have the ca­pac­ity to care for the child or pose a risk of harm, even when these al­le­ga­tions are de­nied.

If you are con­cerned that your ex is ad­dicted to drugs and your children are not safe, you should re­quest drug test­ing right away.

If your ex won’t agree, you can seek or­ders from the Fam­ily Court that they un­dergo drug test­ing.

Ev­i­dence for Fam­ily Court pur­poses is pre­sented in the form of af­fi­davits; how­ever, this ev­i­dence can­not be tested un­til a trial.

The Court may there­fore err on the side of cau­tion when al­le­ga­tions of drug abuse are made and in the in­terim place the child into the care of the other par­ent.

Drug test­ing is an easy and ef­fec­tive way to gather re­li­able ev­i­dence about whether nor not a par­ent is us­ing drugs and whether the children are at risk of harm. What if my ex’s drug tests are all com­ing back pos­i­tive?

If a par­ent can­not pro­vide the Court with con­sec­u­tive clear drug screens, it may be de­ter­mined that they have a se­ri­ous ad­dic­tion that could put the child in harm’s way.

If or­ders are not al­ready in place, the Court may con­sider re­mov­ing the child from that drug-us­ing par­ent’s care and plac­ing them in the care of the other par­ent to en­sure they are not ex­posed to drug use or put in harm’s way.

At the end of the day, if the other par­ent can­not show the Court that they can ab­stain from drug use whether through clear drug screens and/or ev­i­dence of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, it is un­likely that they will be al­lowed any un­su­per­vised time with the child.

With Si­mon Creek

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