More often than not, Family Law cases are strenuous and emotional for all parties involved. When children are involved, and one parent has a demonstrated or accused history of alcohol abuse, proving sobriety is imperative for the safety and assurance of the entire family.
Charles Hardy is a board-certified Family Lawyer in San Antonio, Texas. He has been practicing law for over 36 years, and his primary area of practice is Family Law. When alcohol abuse is a factor, Hardy will often recommend using Soberlink alcohol monitoring technology to his clients. Soberlink is a remote alcohol tracking system that uses facial recognition and tamper-detection software to efficiently document and send real-time proof of sobriety. Considered the Gold Standard by thousands of practitioners, Hardy says that “Judges believe Soberlink…they trust the product.”
Alcohol monitoring offers peace of mind to co-parents, attorneys, and judges when alcohol addiction is a component of a child custody case.
Soberlink can help users bring certainty to the courtroom when alcohol abuse has been an issue. When there are alcohol abuse claims, Charles Hardy recommends using Soberlink to “get ahead of the curve” on claims of alcohol abuse before even going to court. “It really is a good, effective means of getting rid of a potential issue in a case where [there is] an allegation that alcohol is being used.”
When judges witness proof of sobriety, the party who struggles with, or has been accused of alcohol abuse, is absolved of the allegations. Hardy says that judges understand the efficiency of the Soberlink device. “They know that if a Soberlink product is being used, it’s going to tell us whether the person is consuming alcohol or not.”
Soberlink offers two levels of testing, depending on the agreed monitoring needs. Level one provides flexible monitoring for those utilizing the device exclusively during parenting time. Level two holds the user accountable through consistent, daily testing monitored by Soberlink, and levels are chosen based on the needs of the case. A typical schedule has 2 to 3 tests per day during waking hours. The Monitored Client is allowed the opportunity “to prove their sobriety and discount any claims by the other side that they are consuming alcohol in excess while in possession of the children,” Hardy says. The co-parent is offered “the comfort of knowing that their children are safe…at least as far as alcohol is concerned.”
Keeping a plan in place is a necessary part of working through a divorce or child custody battle. When alcohol addiction is a struggle for one parent, Soberlink can be integrated into a Parenting Plan that allows the co-parent to use the device as a continued demonstration of their ability to parent responsibly. Hardy has seen parents “required to continue to use Soberlink if they can stay sober for a period of…months, and visitation will change if they can stay sober. [Visitation] will increase, go through phases, and, if they fail, [they] go back to the first phase automatically.” As an attorney, Charles has seen this plan be very effective because “everyone knows what the rules are.”
Maintaining stability is an important factor when going through an upending time like the disillusion of marriage. The best interest of the children is the primary focus of judges’ decisions on custody agreements. Hardy states that “judges are concerned when kids are involved, that, if a party has an alcohol problem, they won’t be able to take care of the kids or deal with emergency circumstances.” Using a Soberlink alcohol monitoring system can give judges the proof of a stable environment needed in a custody decision.
Co-parents have to agree to a custody arrangement that benefits the child and, when alcohol is a factor, the well-being of the child must be considered. Since the loss of trust is often an issue for those who struggle with substance abuse, setting up a co-parenting arrangement that includes an alcohol monitoring plan can offer relief to the parent entrusting children with their former spouse.
Young children who regularly witness a parent under the influence of alcohol can develop insecure attachment styles, negatively affecting them as they age. Children are often given renewed peace of mind when they witness a parent managing their alcohol abuse. Older children can be made aware of Soberlink, and, in Hardy’s experience, “If [children] know there’s testing going on and they’re of age to understand it, they’re certainly comforted by the fact that there’s no drinking going on.” By maintaining accountability and obtaining documented proof of sobriety, Family Courts can grant visitations and custody with confidence, knowing that proper safeguards are in place.
When alcohol abuse plays a pivotal role in marriage dissolution, Charles Hardy has seen alcohol monitoring help. “I’ve had clients who have not wanted to get divorced, but because their spouses were addicted to alcohol, [they] felt compelled to,” he says. In certain circumstances, and when agreed upon, the spouse struggling with alcohol addiction can use Soberlink as a tool for reconciliation. Hardy says he has seen cases where Soberlink has “literally saved marriages.”
When alcohol abuse is prevalent in a relationship, Family Law attorneys and judges must ensure that decisions reflecting the best interests of the child are upheld during co-parenting. With Soberlink’s portable, professional breathalyzer technology, co-parents are given “a chance to show that they can stop drinking and prove to the judge and others that, in a very objective manner, that alcohol is not impacting [their parenting].” Hardy says. Soberlink provides discrete and convenient alcohol monitoring that delivers proven results.