Many child custody battles are contentious because one parent has issues with alcohol, and the other parent doesn’t trust them with the kids. Even if a parent has struggled with alcohol in the past and is now in recovery, trust is not rebuilt overnight — particularly when the safety and well-being of kids are at stake.
One solution that can give the other parent peace of mind and help the alcohol-abusing parent commit to their sobriety — or at least not to drinking when their kids are with them — is an alcohol monitoring system. These use a tool that’s similar to a Breathalyzer to test a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) and report it to whatever parties are designated to receive the information.
Parents who don’t believe they have a problem with alcohol may resent being asked to agree to participate in alcohol monitoring. However, if your co-parent has made exaggerated claims about your drinking to the court, this can provide objective evidence that you can refrain from drinking when you’re responsible for your kids — and help you seek greater custody or visitation rights.
If you have a problem with alcohol, a monitoring system can be a powerful incentive to stay sober, because you know that your ability to see your kids depends on it. Even if the monitoring is only done during your parenting time, knowing that you can stay sober for a day or a few days at a time can help you move toward complete sobriety.
Above all, alcohol monitoring is in the children’s best interests. Sometimes, people have every intention of not drinking before they see their kids or while they’re around. However, those good intentions too often are upended by a fight with a co-parent or an unruly child. When a person knows they’ll have to submit to testing, they’re helping ensure their kids’ safety, and at the very least, making sure that their kids don’t have to deal with them while they’re under the influence.
Whether you’re the one who’s being asked to participate in alcohol monitoring or you’d like your co-parent to do so, it’s essential to learn more about the various options and what they involve. A famil law attorney at the Quinn Law Firm can provide more information and advise you on how best to proceed based on your specific circumstances. Please contact us at 814-833-2222.