I have a history of substance abuse. How will this impact my ability to reconnect with my child or grandchild?

If you have struggled with addiction, drugs or alcohol (whether or not this is related to your system involvement or past convictions), the judge will consider this history when deciding whether custody or visitation with you is in your child’s “best interest.”[2334] The judge may require you to do drug or alcohol testing, or—if you are granted custody or visitation—may even order you to never use any drugs or alcohol.[2335] However, the judge cannot deny you custody based ONLY on the results of a positive drug test—a dirty test is only one factor when deciding whether custody would be in your child’s best interest.[2336]

  1. 2334

    Cal. Fam. Code § 3041.5.

  2. 2335

    Cal. Fam. Code § 3041.5.

  3. 2336

    Cal. Fam. Code § 3041.5. The results of the drug/alcohol test will only be used when considering whether custody or visitation is in your child’s best interest), and cannot be used for any other purpose, such as criminal prosecution, parole violation, or civil penalties. Moreover, you may request a hearing to challenge the results of a positive test.