Benefits of Remote Alcohol Monitoring when Sharing Custody with an Alcoholic Parent

While alcohol and divorce don’t always go hand-in-hand, divorce rates have a tendency to rise when alcohol is frequently being abused. In managing a relationship with an alcoholic spouse while looking out for the safety of any children involved, remote alcohol monitoring is the ideal accountability tool for both parents.

While alcohol and divorce don’t always go hand-in-hand, divorce rates do have a tendency to rise when alcohol is frequently being abused. And when couples who are divorcing have children, looking out for the safety of the kids while managing an alcoholic parent can be daunting and just plain exhausting.

Let’s face it, nearly everyone has good intentions when it comes to their children, but in situations involving alcohol abuse, quitting drinking is a lot easier said than done. This is particularly true for someone who struggles with alcoholism. If and when a child custody program has been established with a set visitation schedule for the alcoholic parent, court judges may still require regular sobriety testing. Even when the court is no longer involved, testing can still be a great way to maintain trust and accountability between both parents.

That being said, regular in-person testing can be invasive, expensive, and incredibly burdensome. In certain jurisdictions, in-person testing is the only option for alcoholic parents dealing with child visitation. In others, however, remote alcohol monitoring is a wonderful alternative option that’s a lot more accessible to most parents. It can also be just as reliable––if not more so––than in-person blood testing.

BACtrack View, for example, uses a smartphone-enabled breathalyzer, BACtrack Mobile, that uses the same sensor technology as law enforcement breathalyzers, and a smartphone app so it’s an accurate and easy way to track a parent’s sobriety. App-based, real-time, alcohol monitoring devices like BACtrack View are convenient, much less invasive than blood testing, and the results are instantaneous. This type of monitoring is a lot more cost-effective as well, which has an impact considering courts do not typically pay for alcohol monitoring; courts typically decide which party will cover the costs, so the price is almost always going to be a concern.

Here are key ways remote alcohol monitoring can influence child visitation arrangements with an alcoholic parent:

  • Behavioral data can easily be sent to judges and family courts

With a dependable remote alcohol monitoring device, sobriety records can be objectively documented by family courts and/or family members. This means that custody decisions can be made based on factual data as opposed to a parent’s good intentions (which generally don’t hold up in court as a deciding factor).

  • Peace of mind

When a compliant parent is consistently testing negative for alcohol and sharing his or her results with loved ones and family members, this builds accountability. Knowing that a child’s visit with a parent won’t be affected by alcohol can give loved ones, spouses, and co-parenting divorcees peace of mind.

  • Eliminates potential “he said / she said” arguments

The whole “he said / she said” argument in child custody cases is a common scenario. If alcohol is the primary culprit in a child custody situation, alcohol monitoring in general (remote or otherwise) helps to eliminate this argument for obvious reasons. If the alcoholic parent can easily show that he or she has been maintaining their sobriety, this can help them with their visitation rights. Remote alcohol monitoring accomplishes this, and it’s a convenient way to maintain consistent documentation.

  • It can help inspire continued sobriety

Oftentimes, when a couple goes through an amicable separation, the courts are never involved. A parent who struggles with alcoholism or excessive drinking may independently choose to invest in a remote alcohol monitoring device to simply help track and manage their own drinking. This might be done to ease the other parent’s concerns, or simply because the alcoholic parent has a desire to slow down or stop drinking for themselves. Tracking alcohol consumption in this way can be very eye-opening, and building this kind of accountability often inspires individuals to seek further treatment and take their sobriety more seriously. It’s a win-win for everyone involved, including both parents, children, and their loved ones.

  • It can ultimately help to maximize a parent’s time with their child (or children)

Remote alcohol monitoring is reliable, convenient, easy, and affordable, which makes it much more accessible to parents who might not have the time or financial means to undergo regular in-person testing. Consistent testing with good results can, in turn, lead to a better custody agreement, thus maximizing a parent’s time with his or her children.

Do keep in mind that not all jurisdictional requirements set forth by the courts or state legislatures allow remote alcohol monitoring. If permitted, however, app-based remote alcohol monitoring is a great solution when sharing custody with an alcoholic parent. Your family law attorney can provide more info about different types of acceptable monitoring and help you find a solution that’s the best fit.

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