When Laura plans to go to the gym, she notifies her workout buddies. She knows she’ll be more likely to go if she’s made a commitment to her friends.
Jon’s history teacher seldom checks homework. His math teacher always does. Jon finds that he takes much more care with his math homework than with his history assignments.
Like Laura and Jon, most people perform better when they know they will be held accountable. This is true for individuals who are struggling with Alcohol Use Disorder, especially if they are involved in a child custody case. If your client is in need of accountability for sobriety in a custody case, alcohol monitoring systems, like Soberlink, could be an effective solution. Here are four reasons why alcohol monitoring is useful in child custody cases:
First: For the Other Parent
If your client has experienced marital difficulties, they may perceive their ex as more of an enemy than a friend. But consider this: Regardless of history, co-parenting will only work if a certain degree of trust is present. Each parent needs to trust the other to be a responsible caretaker of the child or children.
If your client is dealing with Alcohol Use Disorder, they may have given their ex-partner reason to doubt their reliability. An alcohol monitoring system can provide objective proof that your client is able to be a responsible caregiver when parenting time approaches.
Such a system can remove a big burden from the monitoring parent, who doesn’t have to make a judgment call about whether your client is in a suitable condition to care for children. Removing that worry can create a much more relaxed atmosphere, to the benefit of everyone involved, including the children.
Second: For Third Parties
If there are other parties involved in your custody case, such as a social agency or court officials, an alcohol monitoring system allows you to demonstrate your client’s commitment to sobriety. Like you, these individuals have been appointed with the security of your client’s children in mind.
Alcohol monitoring is winning acceptance among many individuals and agencies involved in child welfare. Without such a system in place, they are often forced to listen to “she said/he said” accounts, and it can be hard to decide which party to trust. An alcohol monitoring system can provide objective and concrete evidence that your client is not impaired and can care for your children during your parenting time.
Third: For the Children
Using an alcohol monitoring system can help the most important parties in a custody case: the children. They need as many loving people in their lives as possible. This system can help your client stay in their children’s lives instead of being pushed out over concerns about alcohol use.
If the children are aware of their parent’s Alcohol Use Disorder, it could be reassuring to know that there are safeguards in place to protect them. If they are too young to understand the details, they will still sense the stable environment that monitoring can create.
Fourth: For Your Client
If you ask your client what they want more than anything else in the world, they would probably say, “To stay sober and to stay with my children.” Alcohol monitoring can make both goals a reality.
Besides allowing your client to demonstrate sobriety for safer parenting time, a monitoring system can help them avoid alcohol on a daily basis. If they are able to achieve that goal, they will also reap these other benefits of sobriety:
- Feel and look better
- The longer your client stays away from alcohol, the more energy they will have. Let them know that their eyes, skin and hair will look healthier. They’ll sleep better and be able to maintain a healthier diet.
- Save money
- Drinking is expensive and so is repairing the damage that alcohol causes. Alcohol Use Disorder costs many dollars in lost productivity, and it has cost many individuals their jobs.
- Boost Confidence
- Being successful at sobriety can make a person feel on top of the world! It can provide a big boost in self-esteem. It might even have someone thinking about new relationships – if not romances, at least friendships.
- Look forward to the future
- If your client has had a negative attitude or feels as though the situation will never get better, sobriety could give them a new outlook on life. Anything can seem possible, once they are no longer struggling with alcohol.
And that brings us back to accountability. If Laura makes herself accountable to work on her fitness and Jon uses accountability to make better grades, what’s keeping your client from using it as well? The rewards could include a more positive resolution to your child custody case, more parenting time for your client and possibly a better life for everyone involved.
Read more information about custody and alcohol or call (714) 975-7200 to learn more about using Soberlink for alcohol monitoring in Family Law cases.
About the Author
Susan Adcox is a former teacher and a writer who specializes in generational issues, including parenting, grandparenting and family relationships.