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How does alcohol consumption play into custody decisions?

On Behalf of | Oct 17, 2020 | Divorce |

For some, addressing alcohol use when approaching matters of child custody is a non-issue. However, there is a history of even basic moderation making its way into habit and beyond. Because the crux of child custody revolves around serving the best interests of the children involved, questions often arise that revolve around looking at what parents can provide that.

There are plenty of resources that can help both couples and individual parents who struggle with alcohol dependency, but some may worry their habit will lower their child custody chances.

The good news first

Unless a parent’s alcohol use sees them in wild outbursts and putting people in danger, there’s a good chance that it won’t have a large effect on custody proceedings. As an article for the American Bar Association states, making sure that alcohol use does not verge into dangerous territory can be a condition of custody itself. While some parents may wish to go cold turkey, regardless, there can a way to track positive behavior.

If there’s been a history of bad news

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, some dependencies are more overt. In these cases, whatever documentation or eyewitness accounts come with those can be helpful. It’s worth noting that while the other parent may initially see this as an attempt to sabotage their chances, both parents should know that any poor choices are not the last straw. If one decides to rehabilitate their image and address behaviors, modifications are always possible. Being bitter might just result in relying on vices.

If scientific evidence is needed

When there is a request and subsequent permission granted for scientific evidence of alcohol consumption, an EtG test could also prove fruitful. According to the same article from the American Bar Association, this test can indicate alcohol consumption and whether it occurred in the past 80 days. This test could prove useful in debunking false accusations or for parents who are showing that they’ve turned a new leaf.

Parents who may be going through custody may wonder about their child’s best interests and what can affect their psychological development. There are plenty of articles online that address everything from whether to drink in front of your kids all the way to alcoholism’s effect on children growing up. In moments where further professional help is needed, talking to legal counsel who can assess one’s chances in court, with honest feedback about how one’s behaviors affect it.