Can grandparents get visitation rights if their son is not fit to see their grandchild?

Asked about 1 year ago - Portland, OR

My girlfriend is going through a nasty divorce. Her ex is a heroin junkie. We had him tested for drugs with a hair follicle test and it came back positive for meth, heroin, and morphine. Now the grandparents are trying to take over his side of the divorce for his time with my girlfriend's son. My girlfriend's ex lives at their house so we don't think it is a safe place for her son to be at because who knows what kind of drugs are around. Can grandparents take over visitiation time for their son who is a junkie? They also agree to the ex to be drug tested but only urine tested.......I have a big problem with that because you can mask a urine test and those drugs get out of your system fast. Where as a hair follicle test takes 90 days for those drugs to get out of the system. Can we make him do a hair follicle test instead of a piss test?

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Jay Bodzin

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There's a few different things going on here:

    First of all, grandparents have no legal right to "take over" their son's parenting time. Grandparents can try to petition for custody or visitation rights separately, but their burden is a very high one. They would have to sue both of the biological parents, and prove that both parents presented a serious risk of harm to the child (if seeking custody) or that they failed to act in the child's best interests by forbidding visitation (if seeking parenting time). The law normally presumes that parents do act in their children's best interests; the grandparents would have to rebut this by clear and convincing evidence - which is a pretty high evidentiary standard.

    As far as drug testing: you can't "make" the guy take any drug test, yourself. But you can ask the Court to order a test - or, more likely, have the Court order a custody evaluation, and ask that the evaluation include a drug and alcohol screen. The evaluator will find a doctor who will provide what testing they think appropriate, based on the evidence they find.

    Your girlfriend should be consulting in private with an attorney if she's going through a case like this. This board really can't be an adequate substitute for that.

    Please read the following notice:

    Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and... more

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