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Senator looks into drug testing for child support recipients

Texas parents who have child support arrangements may find a recent measure that failed to pass in another state very interesting. The controversial measure called for mandatory drug testing for parents who receive child support any time the paying parent demanded it. It was proposed by a state senator who had a constituent who spoke to the senator about his fears that his ex was using the child support money he provided to purchase illegal drugs.

The measure did not get very far and was eventually withdrawn by the senator. However, the measure demonstrates that some politicians continue to struggle with the notion of drug testing, particularly when there may be an issue that government benefits or court-ordered child support payments are potentially being used for the purchase and use of illicit drugs.

Although the Iowa senator who proposed the law believes that people are avoiding important issues, the measure was still killed. While it remains to be seen if other jurisdictions will pursue similar legislative attempts, those parents in Texas who could possibly be affected by a change in laws may want to take interest in the discussion.

Clearly, drug use may be a relevant issue in divorce and child custody litigation, though extending drug testing to those who are receiving child support payments may be seen by some as overstepping boundaries. Nevertheless, those parents who suspect their minor child is exposed to personal risk because the other parent is using illicit drugs may wish to explore their legal options under Texas family law as they determine what steps to take to ensure that the best interests of their children are being met.

Source: Huffington Post, “Drug Testing For Child Support Measure Killed In Iowa,” April 13, 2012

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