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Newborn Drug Tests and Child Custody for Fathers

 Posted on June 17, 2024 in Child Custody

IL family lawyerFinding out that the mother of your child has been using drugs during her pregnancy can be extremely alarming. No one wants to see their newborn child go through withdrawal or experience serious medical issues due to prenatal exposure to substances. It used to be the case that when a newborn baby failed a toxicology screen, the mother would immediately lose her parental rights and be reported to law enforcement. This enabled fathers to take exclusive custody. A new state law has removed these requirements. However, fathers who are seeking custody of their children can still argue that it is in the best interests of the child to stay with them during child custody proceedings. An experienced Rolling Meadows, IL fathers’ rights lawyer can help you.

What Does This New Law Mean for Fathers Seeking Custody?

Before this new law, fathers could almost automatically take full custody of babies born with drugs in their systems. Now, mothers who use drugs or alcohol during their pregnancies have the opportunity to try to prove that staying with them is in the baby’s best interests. Successfully making that argument may be extremely difficult for mothers until they have proven that they are genuinely committed to recovery.

Family law courts are required to make the decision that is best for the child. The mother does not need to have been arrested for exposing her baby to drugs or have been stripped of her parental rights for a judge to find that her baby is safer with his or her father. If you are not also using drugs and can show that you could provide a safe home for your infant, you are very likely to prevail in your custody dispute.

Why You Still Need an Attorney 

Courts have historically favored mothers in child custody disputes, even if they are less than perfect. Mothers have enjoyed a particular advantage when it comes to deciding custody of newborn babies. Courts are often hesitant to remove a newborn from his or her mother’s care unless there is strong justification, especially if the mother breastfeeds.

An attorney can help you prove that the mother’s drug use is endangering the well-being of your baby and you are the more capable parent. The court may want to hear specific facts about how the mother’s drug use has affected the baby and would likely continue to harm the baby if she were to take custody. A lawyer can investigate and present strong arguments on your behalf.

Contact a Cook County, IL Fathers’ Rights Attorney

Law Offices of Donald J. Cosley will do all it can to help you protect your infant child by showing the court that you should have custody. Dedicated Rolling Meadows, IL child custody attorney Don Cosley handles all aspects of his cases personally. Contact us at 847-253-3100 for a complimentary consultation.

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