fort worth family law attorney

Substance and Alcohol Abuse Issues Attorney in Fort Worth, Texas

In Texas family courts, drug and alcohol issues are taken very seriously, particularly in cases involving children. Judges frequently issue temporary orders to curb or completely prohibit the use of substances in divorce and family law cases. Additionally, allegations of substance abuse can lead to mandatory and sometimes unexpected testing, which can significantly affect the outcome of a case. In all situations, the court prioritizes the best interests of the children involved.

Standing and Temporary Orders in Divorce and Custody Cases

Courts in Fort Worth and North Texas implement “standing orders” the moment a divorce case is filed. These orders prevent both parties from actions that could disrupt the children’s peace, harass the other party, or waste marital assets. If one of the parties involved has issues with drugs or alcohol, their behavior could potentially breach these standing orders. 

The initial court appearance in a divorce or family law action usually involves a hearing for temporary orders, where issues regarding the care and management of children, assets, and debts are addressed. This also includes child support, spousal maintenance, and attorney’s fees. If a parent is alleged to be abusing drugs or alcohol, the temporary orders might include restrictions or testing related to drug and alcohol use, particularly regarding access to the children. Any violation of these temporary orders could dramatically influence the final decisions of the court.

Conservatorship, Possession, and Access

Texas family law courts ensure that children maintain contact with both parents unless evidence suggests this might be detrimental. The primary concern is always the children’s best interest when determining conservatorship, possession, and access. Parents alleged to be using or abusing substances typically receive only supervised access to ensure the safety of the child.

If there is an order for a parent to undergo regular or random drug testing and they fail, the court will likely mandate supervised access. The court might also require attendance at recovery meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, and substance abuse evaluations and education.

Fault-Based Divorces and Allegations of Substance Use

In Fort Worth, while no-fault divorce is common, the law also allows for fault-based divorces, which can include claims of substance abuse. If substance abuse by one party significantly affects the marriage, the other party may receive a larger portion of the marital assets.

Drug and Alcohol Testing

Various testing options are available for detecting drug and alcohol use, ranging from urine tests, which cover recent use, to hair and fingernail tests that can detect longer-term substance use. These tests can be crucial in family law cases, particularly when the safety and well-being of children are at stake. Substance abuse can impair a parent’s judgment and ability to act in the best interest of their children. Anyone facing a divorce involving substance abuse issues should seek skilled legal counsel.

The Experienced Fort Worth Family Law Attorneys at Boyd Family Law Can Help

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Jon R. Boyd and his team at Boyd Family Law are well-versed in the complexities of family law cases involving substance abuse. With decades of collective experience, our Fort Worth divorce attorneys are prepared to handle high-stakes divorce cases, offering the expertise and support needed to navigate these challenges.

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We can help you through this difficult time in your life. Just contact us today, and Mr. Boyd and his seasoned staff will give you the benefit of our experience and knowledge to help you decide which course of action is best for you.