He-said-she-said arguments can be a huge hindrance in Family Law custody cases, especially when claims of alcohol abuse are made. Without the support of admissible evidence, these baseless arguments can cause a variety of negative repercussions, including placing unnecessary stress on children. To protect the best interests of the child, it is essential for Family Law attorneys to understand how to address and prevent unfounded accusations of alcohol abuse in custody cases.
In his 12 years of practicing Family Law, attorney Patrick Kalscheur has witnessed the unfortunate impact he-said-she-said arguments can have on parents, children and the legal system, as a whole. To illustrate how detrimental these situations can be, Kalscheur describes a typical he-said-she-said scenario: “Let’s say a husband and wife live in two separate houses – she doesn’t know that her husband is drinking, but there are signs. Husband, on the other hand, is saying that he’s sober, that he’s not drinking and that he’s a model parent. So, now, we’re in a position where we don’t know if there is drinking going on and if the children are safe or not.”
Kalscheur explains that a variety of problems can arise from this situation. First, constant back-and-forth can draw out legal proceedings, which can be a big financial burden for all parties involved. Second, making accusations without evidence may discredit the parents and their legal representation. Third, he-said-she-said arguments can exacerbate feelings of anxiety, anger and frustration between parents, which can put unnecessary stress on children. Kalscheur notes that children are often caught in the middle of these arguments and they may even feel obligated to report on a parent’s drinking. “Let’s say, Daughter thinks she saw Dad drinking, but she doesn’t know for sure,” Kalscheur explains, “She tells Mom and, now, the suspicion has been reinforced by a child who has been put in the middle of this situation, which is not good for kids.”
Knowing that it is up to Family Law attorneys to protect the best interests of the child, Kalscheur recommends using Soberlink alcohol monitoring to promote a safe, positive and conflict-free environment. Combining a professional-grade, personal breathalyzer with wireless connectivity, Soberlink supports accountability for sobriety and child safety, featuring tamper detection and facial recognition technology, the state-of-the-art alcohol monitoring system collects court-admissible data with a high level of precision and accuracy. Soberlink takes the guesswork out of proving sobriety, which eliminates the grounds for he-said-she-said-arguments. “In my role, when I’m working in a divorce, I’m trying to minimize conflict,” says Kalscheur, “Because, at the end of the day, what we’re trying to do is to help this family get from where they are right now – which is a family that’s transitioning – to where they to be in the future and to do that as smoothly as possible. Soberlink eliminates the he-said-she-said issue. It gives you the facts and clearly states if there was drinking or not. It’s reliable, it’s admissible in court and it’s cost-effective in the long-term.”
With Soberlink, clients also have a greater sense of freedom, independence and confidence in demonstrating their sobriety. “If my client is telling me she’s not drinking, then I want her to do this because she can demonstrate her sobriety,” says Kalscheur, “That will be evidence to say, ‘Look I’m not drinking, and I should have a fair amount of parenting time with my children.’” Kalscheur also acknowledges the benefits of Soberlink’s flexibility, especially when it comes to scheduling tests and creating parenting schedules. “Soberlink’s regular, interval-based testing will capture drinking, if it’s occurring, so everyone feels covered and protected.” says Kalscheur.
Finally, Soberlink alcohol monitoring plays a vital role in growing positive relationships between children and their parents. Providing proof of sobriety, Soberlink promotes peace of mind and minimizes conflict, all in support of the child’s mental, emotional and physical well being. “Kids that are in the middle of conflict feel it from both parents,” notes Kalscheur. “For them to go through this and to love both of their parents – it’s important for children to see both parties as great parents. Because custody conflicts between parents pulls at the children, we want to minimize that as much as possible. This is an area where there’s a lot of emotion and Soberlink provides everyone peace of mind. It allows everyone to feel more comfortable in the facts.”