Collaborative Practice in Family Law when Alcohol Use is Involved: Audio Interview

Collaborative Practice in Family Law Involving Alcohol Use
May 17, 2021
|   updated:
July 20, 2023

What would you say the benefits of a collaborative practice to a family seeking divorce or separation would be?

Well, the biggest thing, regardless of which of those methods you use, is that you’re not relinquishing control to the court system and letting the judge ultimately make these very important, far reaching, long-term decisions for you. You are maintaining control over that. It also is a lower conflict approach, they are all lower conflict approaches, when you have a future relationship to consider. Often, we are dealing with families who have children together, even if they are adult children, there are still times where you have to have contact or some other kind of engagement with each other. So, we are setting the tone for it to be not just cooperative now, but for it to be a lower conflict and more cooperative type of relationship for the future. There is also certainly the strong possibility that you are going to reduce your financial burden by approaching this in a more cooperative way rather than going full force with litigation.


Would you say you’ve experienced any unique challenges that come with parents that are dealing with alcohol use disorder?

Yeah, we have those challenges from time to time. The first thing I want to say is that just because those type of challenges exist; doesn’t mean we can’t approach it in some cooperative way with cooperative methods. But we do have those challenges from time to time and usually one of the things we have to deal with is that there is a disagreement between the parties about the amount of alcohol use for one of the particular individuals or a disagreement about their ability to control their alcohol use. For example, they may claim that they wont drink alcohol when they have the kids and those sorts of things.


So, with those challenges, would you say that Soberlink specifically has been able to support those families where AUD is a concern?

I would say that it definitely provides a good option because there is a debate about what to do if the parent shows up and the other parent believes that they have been using alcohol or is under the influence of alcohol to some level. So what are they supposed to do in order to protect their kids? To have the option to be able to say that we can do a test right now and see what your alcohol level is, certainly addresses those kinds of scenarios. It also is an easier and affordable way for them to be able to test on a regular basis, even if it is not showing up right now to pick up my kids. But wanting to show that there is a period of time of sobriety by being able to regularly take the test. I understand that you can be in two different places because there is a live feed so the person can take the Soberlink test right now and the other person can receive the results in real time. So, they can know what the test results are and show that there has not been usage in whatever period of time that it covers.


So, would you say another main benefit would just be peace of mind for both the co-parent and the children?

Well absolutely because there is a need to address the concerns and depending on what the specific concerns are, Soberlink offers options that would allow that to be addressed to provide assistance. So, I would say absolutely that that would give peace of mind.

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