Parental drinking affects millions of children each year as one in eight Americans battle alcoholism. Approximately one in four American children are growing up with at least one parent who intermittently binge drinks or consistently drinks heavily. These national trends have obvious implications for custody cases, as parents with a history of alcohol use disorder may face skepticism regarding their parenting abilities.
Alcohol, Divorce, and Custody By The Numbers
- 20%: The increase in divorce rate corresponding to every extra liter of per capita alcohol consumption, according to one study.
- 50%: The number of custody cases in which alcohol was a factor, according to one California study.
- 26.8 million: The number of children in America growing up in homes that expose them to alcoholism.
Judges, lawyers, and concerned parties can’t simply base their decisions on a parent’s good intentions. When the welfare of children is at stake, they need tangible, credible evidence. Parents who can provide this evidence of a continuous commitment to sobriety are more likely to see their parenting time increased.
Why Courts Care About Parental Sobriety
Children in homes whose parents are struggling with substance abuse are more likely to:
- Score lower on standardized tests
- Miss school unnecessarily
- Experience anxiety or depression
- Be diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder)
- Battle low self-esteem
Proving Sobriety: No Easy Task
Proving sobriety can be difficult for those who need to demonstrate their parental fitness. Simply showing up sober to court or mediation isn’t enough. Making the strongest possible case requires credible documentation of a consistently sober lifestyle. Traditional sobriety tests, based on periodic collection of urine samples, are inefficient and inconvenient. However, parents accepted this disruption as a complicated but necessary step toward earning more time with their children.
Today, a more connected world has made it more efficient for parents in custody cases to increase their parenting time by proving their sobriety. Soberlink is the nation’s leading remote alcohol monitoring system in Family Law, providing a breathalyzer that uses facial-recognition software to confirm identity and deliver results wirelessly to as many people as needed.
Soberlink offers two options for monitoring. Level 1 Testing enables clients to submit tests only during their parenting time, allowing them to prove sobriety while children are in their care. Level 2 Testing facilitates daily testing, typically requiring 3 to 4 scheduled tests per day. Either way, parents can perform breath tests and prove their sobriety to all concerned parties, whenever and wherever they are.
Remote Alcohol Monitoring Benefits Everyone
- Parents receive a structured, efficient method of documenting sobriety.
- Concerned parties have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that their children’s visits with the other parent won’t be affected by alcohol.
- Judges and family courts receive objective behavioral data, enabling them to make custody and visitation decisions based on facts about the past rather than promises about the future.
- Children benefit from the stability and security that come from consistent time with a sober parent.
Remote alcohol monitoring provides 24/7 accountability without becoming an undue burden. Whether it’s a custom schedule requiring multiple tests per day or simple verification of sobriety while children are in their care, Soberlink can help parents create a documented record of consistent sobriety. For all involved, this is one more step toward the ultimate goal: maximizing the time parents get to spend with the children they love.
About the Author
Soberlink supports accountability for sobriety through a comprehensive alcohol monitoring system. Combining a breathalyzer with wireless connectivity, the portable design and technology includes facial recognition, tamper detection and real-time reporting. Soberlink proves sobriety with reliability to foster trust and peace of mind.