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Dealing with an Alcoholic or Drug Addict Co-Parent

Dealing with an Alcoholic or Drug Addict Co-Parent

If one or both parents are alcoholics or drug addicts, this can further complicate the divorce process and distribution of parenting time. However, it can be difficult to determine if a parent is a casual or problem drinker when the distinction in society is generally unclear. While judges used to make decisions around parenting time based on the parents’ criminal record, new innovations could influence the court’s final judgments.

Using Soberlink to Determine if a Parent Is an Alcoholic

The Soberlink alcohol monitoring program has helped identify problem drinkers by providing parents with breathalyzers that instantly upload test results to a server that allows the other parent, the court, and divorce lawyers to view the results.

To help prevent the alleged problem drinker from abusing the system and having a sober individual blow into the device for a negative test result, the device includes a camera that captures a photo of the individual using it, uploading the picture along with the test results.

Based on the court order, Soberlink will be able to create a schedule for the user that will determine how frequently he or she needs to take a breath test. The device can even detect whether the user drank heavily the night before.

Following a certain period of clean tests, the person required to use the device will more effectively prove that he or she is reliably sober.

Who pays for the device will depend on the history of the alleged problem drinker. If the user has a history of heavy drinking, the individual will likely need to cover some or all of the costs. Otherwise, the accusing parent will likely be required to pay for the testing.

Testing for Other Drugs

The courts tend to have a zero-tolerance policy in place for other types of drugs. In custody cases, the court can issue an order requiring random drug testing. Alleged addicts will receive a call from the tester on a random day and at a random time and be required to submit a urine or hair sample within two hours of the call.

As marijuana laws change in Illinois, so will the judges’ attitude toward the use of the substance.

Regardless of testing and the court’s decision, addiction can adversely affect children in serious ways. The court decides what’s deemed best for the child’s wellbeing when distributing parenting time in the divorce process.

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