Visitation and the alcoholic parent, what the judges say? Being a parent with alcoholism is difficult for both the parent and the child. It’s important for the court to consider visitation rights in cases dealing with an alcoholic parent—the psychological, physical, and emotional impacts of separation from each other can be detrimental to all parties involved.
Through understanding the dynamics of an alcoholic family system, as well as legal considerations associated with parental alcohol use, this blog post will explore how visitation should be handled in such scenarios. Relevant case law will also be reviewed in order to properly provide advice to lawyers or courts on working through these complicated matters.
Keep on reading for visitation and the alcoholic parent.
What Judges Say When It Comes to The Visitation Conditions of The Alcoholic Parent
The visitation rights of an alcoholic parent will ultimately be determined on a case-by-case basis. When ruling on visitation, the court will take into account the best interests of the child and ensure that visitation is in their best interest.
In most cases, visitation with an alcoholic parent may be supervised or limited to prevent potential harm to the child. The visitation conditions will depend on the amount and type of alcohol use, as well as any other factors that could potentially put the child at risk.
The court may consider if visitation with an alcoholic parent is safe for the child by asking questions such as:
– Is there any history of physical/ emotional abuse?
– Is the visitation supervised/monitored?
– Are there any treatment options available for the parent to seek help?
– Is visitation in the best interests of the child?
Ultimately, the visitation and the alcoholic parent should be tailored to meet the specific needs and best interests of the child. If visitation is determined to be safe, then visitation rights may be granted, but the visitation conditions should be closely monitored and may be modified or revoked as necessary.
Now you know about what judges say, how about things you need to know when it comes to visitation and the alcoholic parent? Keep on reading the following part.
Visitation And The Alcoholic Parent, What to Know?
As courts recognize the importance of maintaining relationships between children and their parents, they rarely take the drastic measure of severing a parent-child bond due to substance abuse.
Despite the presence of substantial evidence that overnight visits with one parent can be hazardous for a child, judges often grant visitation rights to both parents under certain conditions or restrictions. These may include:
- Supervised visitation, wherein a reliable third-party – typically a social worker – is present in the room for the duration of each meeting.
- To ensure the best outcome, it is vital for a parent to receive quality treatment and rehabilitation services – such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous – so that they can take part in their own recovery.
- Systematic drug and alcohol screening is essential for ensuring safety.
Usually, these stipulations will only be valid for a given timeframe and may be removed in the case that the parent displays effective recuperation from treatment as well as consistent sobriety.
How to Prove or Disprove Alcohol Abuse in Child Custody Cases?
During child custody negotiations, alcohol abuse can be raised as a factor in numerous ways. For example, one parent might accuse the other of problematic drinking and petition for sole physical and legal guardianship of the youngster.
Alternately, both parents may have their past or present living with an alcohol and dealing with it when it comes to deciding who should retain parental rights over the minor.
For any alcohol abuse claim to be considered, it must have reasonable evidence that backs it up. For such claims to hold true and produce a satisfactory outcome, simply making an accusation without having the necessary proof is not sufficient.
Evidence of Parental Alcohol Abuse
The EtG Test
When there is no evidence of alcohol misuse, if the data appears to be suspicious, or if it’s not a clear-cut case of abusing liquor, one may need to use other strategies in order to verify their story.
When needed, an EtG test can be administered to confirm or negate accusations of parental alcohol abuse. This type of urinalysis is capable of detecting the presence of ethanol (alcohol) up to 80 days after ingestion.
Therefore, these kinds of tests are invaluable in providing reliable and accurate evidence as it pertains to potential allegations against a parent’s drinking habits.
The EtG test is an invaluable tool in determining the drinking habits of a person, yet it may be hard to get them to take the exam. Under U.S. law, no one can be forced into taking this particular test merely on allegations of alcohol misuse alone.
Submitting records of prior occurrences involving overindulgence in alcohol may incite the court to require an EtG test, but there is no assurance that this will happen.
Simultaneously, the EtG may demonstrate that there are still remnants of alcohol in an individual’s system; however, this does not necessarily prove alcohol abuse. Responsible consumption of liquor is another plausible explanation that cannot be denied by the EtG test results.
To further support allegations of alcohol misuse, another reliable measure is to procure testimonies from a credible third-party observer who can verify the individual’s drinking habits as excessive and hazardous.
Without the sworn testimony of a witness or their compliance to a subpoena, claims about alcohol abuse can remain hearsay. However, if witnesses agree to testify under oath, their accounts may lend credence and strengthen such allegations.
There is the last part – FAQs for our blog about visitation and the alcoholic parent.
How does an alcoholic’s behavior change when they are under the influence?
Skipping work, and/or leaving childcare obligations unattended; disregarding self-care or cleanliness; performing irresponsible, dangerous, or illegal activities while drinking alcohol to cope with stress or celebrate.
What personality disorder is going with alcoholism?
Alcoholism has been associated with an array of distinct personality disorders and their various blends. In specific, the most common included:
- dependent/paranoid/ obsessive-compulsive,
Can alcohol change a person’s personality?
Chronic drinking can completely change an individual’s personality by impairing their emotional health. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has found that alcohol impacts the brain, which in turn affects one’s moods and emotions when overconsumption occurs.
Visitation and the alcoholic parent can be a difficult matter to address. Systematic drug and alcohol screening, as well as the EtG test, can be necessary to confirm or deny allegations of parental alcohol abuse.
Additionally, witness testimony may also provide further evidence for such claims. Ultimately, visitation decisions are ultimately made by courts with the child’s best interests in mind.
It’s important to keep in mind that the effects alcohol has on an individual and their personality should be taken into consideration when making visitation decisions for the child’s safety.