Contact, Alcohol and Depression? Will I be tested?


Question Asked by MM

My husband was granted a residency order for my children when I was unwell with depression and alcohol issues. I am now a recovered alcohol dependant and would like to apply for a contact order to see my children. So my question is will the court order any alcohol and/or drug testing?


It is very likely.

The court will want to be satisfied that things have changed in your life. If there was a time in your life when you were suffering from depression and were drinking too much, the court is likely to want evidence that these things have changed. If you have not seen your children in a while, it might indicate that the difficulties were serious. In those circumstances I think a court is likely to want to see evidence that you no longer use alcohol inappropriately. This could be by way of alcohol testing. The court might also ask to see your medical records (which also means the children’s father is likely to see them) as they often show whether someone has regained stability in their life or continues to have problems.

If you have received support or counselling in relation to alcohol issues and/or depression, it may be worth getting something from whichever service provided you with help, confirming your engagement and progress.

Finally, if it has been a while since the children have seen you, the Court may ask a CAFCASS officer to speak to the children about how they feel having contact with you as it will be a big change for them.

In summary, I am saying that it is likely that a court would conduct a
thorough investigation of your circumstances and this is likely to include testing.

Having said all of that generally speaking a court would want children to have a relationship with their mother as this would normally be in their interests even if there has been a gap or there were previous problems. Of course this will depend upon what is best for the children and each case depends upon the individual circumstances of the parents and most importantly, the children.

I have written a page on Drug and Alcohol testing
here which might be helpful.

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