What do I do if my ex is drunk or high when we exchange our kids?

Minnesota law requires parents adhere to a parenting time schedule when they go through a family court case.  This schedule lays out what days and times parents exchange their kids.  It can also include language saying parents cannot drink when the children are in their care or that a parent has to complete a urinalysis test before taking the children.

Parents are required to follow their court ordered parenting time schedules or face going back to court for withholding parenting time.  An exception to the requirement is concern that if a parent is drunk or high when picking up or dropping off the children.  If this happens, the children’s safety is the first concern.

A parent should carefully assess the other parent who is believed to be under the influence.  Can you smell alcohol on that parent’s breath?  Is there drug paraphernalia in the vehicle?

If a parent reasonably believes the other parent is under the influence of something, call law enforcement to report the concern.  Law enforcement, who will talk with both parents, other adults present or even the children to assess the situation, will want to know the specific concerns about the other parent and what observations of the other parent is causing concern and suspicion.

Police officers and sheriff deputies have training to determine if someone is under the influence.  Law enforcement is likely to allow the children to go with the other parent if he or she is sober or does not appear to be under the influence of any drugs or alcohol.  Should a parent be under the influence, he or she may be arrested and criminally charged.  It is important to obtain a copy of the police reports which may be necessary if the court has to get involved.

Contact experienced family law attorney Jessica L. Sterle to schedule a consultation by calling (218) 722-2655.

Jessica Sterle