Divorce and Drug Testing Laws

Authored by , LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

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Most Common Family Law Issues:

Can I Have My Spouse Tested for Drugs During a Divorce?

Yes.  You may file a motion to have your soon to be ex-spouse drug tested during a divorce; it will be up to the judge to decide whether or not to grant the motion.  Additionally, a judge can order drug testing on their own without a motion.  Typically a judge will order drug testing, or grant a motion for testing, if he or she has reason to believe that drug abuse is occurring.  Evidence of drug abuse might include information that you provide, witness testimony, or recent prior drug convictions.  

Why Would I Want to Have My Spouse Drug Tested During a Divorce?

If you know or believe that your spouse is using drugs, there are two main reasons why you would want them to be drug tested.  First, you might request a drug test to provide evidence of habitual drug use in order to attain a fault divorce.  Second, you may request a drug test if you are in a child custody battle with your ex.  You may be able to get sole custody of your children if your ex fails a drug test.  Failed drug tests may also be a basis for altering a custody agreement.

Remember: What's Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander!

If you request a drug test for your spouse, expect them to request one for you.  In most cases, a judge granting one request will also grant the opposing party's request for drug tests.  

What Should I do if I Fail a Court-Ordered Drug Test During a Divorce?


There are many legal substances that are known to cause false positive tests.  If you fail a drug test you should request a re-test.  See Failing a Drug Test for further information.

Do I Need a Lawyer for My Divorce Related Drug Test Problem?

Trying to prove drug use by a spouse in order to get a fault divorce or custody rights can be difficult.  An experienced family attorney will be familiar with making the motions required to request a drug test.  Additionally your attorney will be able to use evidence from the test to help you get what you want.  If you fail a court ordered drug test during a divorce, your attorney may be able to help you mitigate the damages and persuade the judge that you are not a habitual user.

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Last Modified: 04-11-2011 12:02 PM PDT

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Divorce and Drug Testing Laws,  altering a custody agreement, child custody, fault divorce, Drug Test