This is the next post in our series on the handling of Boston, Massachusetts child custody cases which involve drug use. Our last article discussed the process of filing for a change in custody and what to expect at an initial hearing. It is important to understand that how the Court will rule, in any given instance, is always going to depend on the specific facts of the case. It is best to speak with an attorney as soon as possible in order to fully understand your options. In this article we will discuss another important topic – the conducting of discovery in such matters. Call our office today to speak with a lawyer.
We briefly discussed discovery in our article on the litigation of custody cases which involve unmarried parents. As we explained, discovery is the process by which information is gained from the other side. If drug use is alleged, then it is important for a parent to gain as much evidence of ongoing use as possible. This means that discovery efforts may focus on obtaining employment files and medical records, in order to show whether the accused parent has previously failed a drug test. Obtaining such records may require that the accused parent sign various releases. The discovery process can be used to obtain these releases as well as the various records.
If the accused was arrested for a narcotics related offense then it may be advisable to take the arresting officer’s deposition. Typically, police officers will not speak to a parent or their attorney voluntarily. They can, however, be required to attend a deposition. This means that they will be asked questions, by your attorney, in the presence of a court reporter. This will allow your counsel to have an idea of how the officers would testify at an eventual trial. Depositions can also be used in contexts not involving arrests. If, for example, the accused parent was fired for drug use at work then it may be advisable to depose their employer. The type of discovery, including depositions, which will be relevant to your case will always depend on the specific facts of your situation.
Discovery can be a complicated process and the rules of procedure must be followed. Failing to follow these rules can mean that the opposing parent may not have to respond to discovery requests. This can leave one at a disadvantage in the litigation. It is important that you retain an experienced attorney to assist you. Our Boston child custody lawyers have handled many matters which involve drug use and they are prepared to assist you with the discovery process. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation. We also assist Massachusetts residents in the Middlesex County cities of Cambridge, Lowell, Somerville, and Newton, as well as those in the cities of Worcester, Brockton, Quincy, and Lynn.