Child custody exchanges are outlined in the custody agreement issued by the court. They are generally routine, taking place at the same time and place and on a regular schedule. If one parent regularly refuses to let the other parent take the children at these court-appointed exchange times, that parent could face contempt of court charges. But there are exceptions.

One such exception is if your spouse shows up for the exchange appearing to be drunk or high. If that is the case, then you’ll want to protect your children.

First, note the behavior that causes you to believe your spouse is drunk or using drugs. Is he or she driving a vehicle while under the influence? If so, that is obviously a serious situation that could endanger your child’s life. You should call your local law enforcement agency to report the violation.

If your spouse is not the driver, but you suspect he or she may be drunk or high, then you’ll have to weigh carefully whether you feel that your children are in danger. If so, you do not have to let your children go with the spouse under the influence. If your spouse has a history of abuse or has been arrested in the past for violence, then that history increases the potential danger to your children. You should call law enforcement and be prepared to explain why you are not allowing the exchange to take place.

Police officers are trained to administer on-the-spot substance tests to determine if an individual is violating any laws. Be prepared to let your children go with your spouse if the police give the go ahead.

If your spouse is determined to be drunk or high, he or she may be arrested or given a warning, depending on the severity of the offense. If an arrest occurs, you have the right to request a copy of the arrest report for your custody battle. Be sure to call your attorney as soon as the situation permits.