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Misleading Drug Test in WA Child Custody Case

In some custody disputes in Australia, the judicial officer may order one of the parties to take a drug test. Drug tests are often requested as proof that a parent is suitable to receive custody of their child or an opportunity to visit their child. For most people, taking a drug test is a relatively straight-forward process. However, it was not for one woman in late 2013 in Western Australia.

A judicial officer at the Family Court of Western Australia ordered a 47 year old woman to provide a hair sample for a drug test as part of custody proceedings involving her 10 year old son. The woman was worried that the test might show that she took marijuana, so she took some of her adult daughter's hair and submitted it for the test instead of her own. A Perth pathology company's employee participated in the deception.

Judge Michael Bowden of the District Court of Western Australia said that the mother's actions targeted "the heart of the justice system" and sentenced her to one year imprisonment for fabricating evidence with intent to mislead a court.

He also sentenced the pathology employee to one year imprisonment and required the woman's adult daughter to pay a $5,000 fine.

For more information about this incident, visit: Perth Now

If you would like information about child custody disputes in Western Australia, we are happy to help. Please contact Craig Scott of CMS Legal Family Lawyers.