Can a parent who abuses drugs or alcohol get legal decision-making?
Possibly. However, if the judge determines that a parent has abused drugs or alcohol or has been convicted of certain drug offenses within the past twelve months before the petition for legal decision-making or parenting time is filed, the judge will assume that it is not in the child’s best interests for that parent to get sole or joint legal decision-making. However, the parent who is accused of abusing drugs or alcohol can try to present evidence to change the judge’s mind. In that case, the judge must at least consider the following evidence:
- the absence of any conviction of any other drug offense during the previous five years (aside from the one s/he may have been convicted of within the year before filing the petition);
- results of random drug testing for a six-month period, which indicate that the person is not using drugs; and
- results of alcohol or drug screening provided by a facility approved by the department of health services.2
1 A.R.S. § 25-403.04(A)
2 A.R.S. § 25-403.04(B)