Soberlink Blog

Discussing the sober truth of alcohol, recovery, and aftercare monitoring

Alcohol Abuse in Custody Cases

Child custody can be a contentious issue even in the most amicable of divorces. The problem only worsens when alcohol abuse is involved. Specifically, it can be a point of contention in three different ways:

  • Both parents have alcohol problems and face losing custody altogether.
  • One parent accuses the other of having a drinking problem and requests sole custody.
  • A parent is suspected of drinking to excess during visitations with the child, whether it is a sole custody or shared situation.

    None of these issues are cut and dry because the following questions will come up:

    (1) Can you prove that the parent is, in fact, alcohol dependent?

    (2) Is one parent accusing the other without merit?

    (3) What effect does any drinking during visits have on the child’s well-being?

    Proving alcoholism in custody cases is relatively easy in certain situations– for example, if the parent has a recent history of alcohol-related arrests and/or they are attending a court-mandated treatment program. Some will also admit that they have a problem during court proceedings and enter treatment voluntarily. If neither of these things happens, most “evidence” will be based on hearsay. In the worst-case scenario, the child becomes the informant, “spying” on the accused parent and reporting back to the other — which can be severely damaging to all involved.

  • Telling Your Kids You’re Getting Divorced

    For a parent, it can be one of the toughest conversations you’ll ever have with your kids: telling them that you and their other parent are getting a divorce. This announcement can immediately set off a number of anxious feelings and questions from your child; they may be worried that they won’t ever see their other parent again, or that it was somehow their fault. There is no good time to break this news, but fortunately there are ways you can go about doing it with sensitivity, care, and positivity.

    Tools for Safer Parenting Time

    What is “Parenting Time”? Technically, “parenting time” is a newer, more family friendly term for “visitation.” When a family separates, the parents have to make a decision regarding how they will spend time with their children. Visitation can vary, depending on various factors (such as custody rights). In the state of California, there are four types of visitations: scheduled, reasonable, supervised, and no visitation. There are a number of ways that a parent can make parenting time safer.

    Managing Sobriety Discreetly

    Dedicating yourself to a sober lifestyle isn’t easy, but it’s crucial for anyone looking to maintain a healthy family life. As you’re likely aware, addiction doesn’t just affect you, it affects your entire family. This is especially true when you have children and you’re involved in a custody situation, whether it’s an existing arrangement or you’re just entering family law proceedings and are trying to establish basic ground rules that will ensure your children are living in stable environments. Having the means to discreetly manage your sobriety at any moment cannot only enhance your dedication to sobriety by adding an additional layer of accountability, it can also improve your child custody situations.