Addiction is a very real problem in Utah.
So many people are addicted to drugs and alcohol, and those addictions lead to a good many Utah divorces.
The problem of drug addiction is especially bad when you have kids.
We can’t have them exposed to drug behavior, or to drugs themselves (you’d be surprised how many children have drugs in their systems because a parent gets high right next to them).
So, what can you do if you have kids and your soon-to-be ex is addicted to drugs?
You have a few options:
- Do nothing.
Not okay. These are your kids we’re talking about. Don’t put them in danger. Take a stand.
- Help your soon-to-be ex get treatment.
Even if you’re divorced, your ex is still your kids’ parent, and they love him/her. It makes sense to do everything you can (within reason) to help your ex get the treatment needed. It will benefit your kids in the long run.
- Drug test your ex.
If you have a serious concern about your ex using drugs, especially if there is a history of doing this around the kids, then drug testing is in order.
Let’s talk about how testing your ex may work.
How Does Drug Testing Your Ex Work?
Putting together a drug-testing scheme depends on a lot of factors and has to be individualized to your specific situation.
That said, here are some common elements we use when we put together drug testing schemes:
- You can request a drug test if you have good reason to believe your ex is high right now.
For example, if your ex comes to your house to pick up your child for parent-time and you know he or she is high, you should be able to end that parent-time and request an immediate drug test.
- You can request random drug tests.
We all know addicts hide their addictions, so they might be smart enough not to be high when they’re in public. In private is another matter.
Because of this, we often allow our clients to randomly drug test their ex. You can’t do this too often (usually once every 2–3 months), but random tests are a powerful way to make sure people are staying clean.
- All drug tests need to be taken within 24 hours.
We put a time limit on drug tests, otherwise addicts will stall until the drugs are out of their system.
To avoid abuses, we state that any drug test not taken within 24 hours of requesting the drug test will be considered dirty (i.e., positive for drugs).
Last Thing: Remember, Drug Testing Your Ex Is about Keeping Kids Safe, not Being Vindictive
I’ve seen many a spouse use drug testing as an excuse to be vindictive toward their ex.
Don’t do this. It will only hurt your kids.
If you have a legitimate concern that your ex’s drug use will harm your kids (which, it probably will), then ask for drug testing, but use that to keep your kids safe, not as a way to get back at your ex.
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