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Ross Miller
Ross Miller,
Category: Law
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Experience:  Director (Litigation and Mediation) at Hilltop Solutions
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In family law how would a parent need to be clean of cocaine

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In family law how long would a parent need to be clean of cocaine and weed if they can prove they are not an addict to be able to have contact with their child?

Hello my name is Ross and I can help with this matter.

To answer your question, there is no real time frame. When a Childs safety is being taken into consideration then usually Cafcass will become involved. This means that they will look at what is best for a child. Just because someone has an addiction doesn't mean they wont be allowed to see their child. Cafcass may decide that the best way forward would be to allow contact but on a supervised basis in the first instance. However, for a person who does have a drug problem, the would have to prove to cafcass over a period of time that they are clean, this would likely involve providing samples to show the they have not been using. To be honest, this is done on case by case basis and there is no set timeframe to be adhered to. Cafcass would simply make a recommendation to the court that for a person to have unsupervised contact with a child once they are satisfied that it is safe for the child. What you need to remember is that it is not to do so much with the person concerned but to do what is best for the child so this will vary from person to person and case to case. However, if someone is looking to make an application to spend time with their child then they would have to make such an application to the family court.

I hope this information has helped. You can find a local solicitor who deals with this on the law society webpage which is;

 

https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

 

I would be obliged if you could Click to “accept” the answer and leave me a 5 star rating (this will not cost any extra). This will tell the website that I have responded to your question, you can, of course, continue to ask any follow up questions free of charge.

 

Kind regards

 

Ross

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I have a court order in place where I have my daughter overnight for2 nights every other weekend. My ex wife is accusing me of being a drug addict. I have used weed and cocaine historically on a recreational basis but haven’t smoked weed for 8 weeks or done cocaine for 3 weeks. She’s saying I can’t have my daughter to stay with me but I am clean now and have no intention of using anything again. How am I best to proceed without going to court?

Thank you for the information. What has happened here is she has stopped contact for "safeguarding" reasons (this does not mean you are necessarily a danger to the child). This is a perfectly legal thing to do. However, what you will need to do is go to mediation and see if you can resolve the matter. You can agree to take regular tests and supply them as evidence to show you are to using. However, ultimately, if she doesn't agree to mediation then I am afraid you would have no option but to take the matter to court.

To find a mediator in your local area, use this site :

http://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/find-local-mediator

In order to apply to the court, you will need to fill out and send form C100 (copy attached) with a cheque of £215 payable to HMCTS to your local family court centre. Or you can ring the court and pay over the phone (or pay in person if you go directly to the court and pay at the counter). If you are on low income/have low savings you can apply for a fee exemption here:

http://www.gov.uk/get-help-with-court-fees

Once you apply the court will list a hearing where you and your ex attends. There will be a family advisor there too (from Cafcass) and if arrangements can be agreed then a consent order will be drawn up.

 

I hope this information has helped and sincerely wish you the best of luck moving forward. You can find a local solicitor who deals with this on the law society webpage which is;

 

https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

 

I would be obliged if you could Click to “accept” the answer and leave me a 5 star rating (this will not cost any extra). This will tell the website that I have responded to your question, you can, of course, continue to ask any follow up questions free of charge.

 

Kind regards

 

Ross

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
She had no evidence that I’m a danger as I’ve not used when looking after my daughter its been separate to my care for her. She’s saying I need to demonstrate I’m clean of all drugs for 3 months before I can have her stay again and it’s really upsetting my daughter not to see me. If I have regular urine or swab tests from now on should that be legally sufficient to demonstrate I’m clean?

Thank you, what I meant was that just because this is the case does NOT mean you are a danger, I agree with you on this point. The truth of the matter is that as long as there is no court agreement then she can make any demands she wants. This is why you will have to go to mediation to get an agreement in place. I don't think 3 months is fair on your or more importantly your child. So in mediation you could look at having this shortened. As I said there is no legal time limit. If you go to court and get a court order in place for contact between you and your child then the mother will HAVE to abide by this. It gives you more security, if she doesn't abide by this then you can have her held in contempt of court. I would try mediation first if that doesn't work then I would advise taking the matter to court. Just because you are a recreational drug user doesn't mean you are any danger to your child. Adults regularly use alcohol, this doesn't mean they get drunk when with their child.

the best thing you can do is enlist the help of the Citizens Advice Bureau. They have appointed benefits advisers who are experts in this matter. If you go to them with all your documents then they will be able to assess the situation for you. The Citizens Advice also have programme called QBC this will allow them to input all of your information and do an assessment on your individual situation without having to contact the DWP. This QBC system will also be able to highlight and identify any benefits you may be entitled to but are not qualifying at the moment. If you application is rejected then the CSA can help you with any mandatory reconsideration as well as potentially provide you with representation at a benefits tribunal should this become necessary.

I would be obliged if you could Click to “accept” the answer and leave me a 5 star rating (this will not cost any extra). This will tell the website that I have responded to your question, you can, of course, continue to ask any follow up questions free of charge.

 

Kind regards

 

Ross

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