The children of parents who suffer from alcohol addiction can end up experiencing behavior difficulties, including anxiety and depression. This is because alcoholic parents frequently fail to provide children with an adequate degree of care.
Parents with the most serious alcohol problems can act in an abusive or negligent way toward their children. It is often the case with Georgia courts that they would prefer a parent retain a relationship with his or her children, but this is not always true.
The following considers some of the unique issues involved when parents separate and one of them has an alcohol problem.
How Alcoholism Impacts Custody
When deciding how to award custody, courts in Georgia will consider what is in the best interest of a child.
Even if a parent has struggled with alcohol addiction, courts also feel inclined to observe parental rights. As a result, courts often struggle between the difficulties created for a child by a parent’s alcohol addiction versus recognizing the special bond that exists between a child and a parent.
If you are an alcoholic parent who is not taking steps to combat your difficulties with alcohol, you likely will not receive a positive custody decision.
Even if you are awarded joint custody, it is possible that the judge might order supervised visitation where you are only permitted to spend time with a child in the presence of a third party.
If you are a recovering alcoholic, your decision to take control of alcoholism would likely have a positive impact on a judge deciding custody issues. Making progress on getting alcoholism “under control” would likely communicate the message to a judge that you have done an excellent job of removing alcohol-related challenges in your life.
This might result in a judge awarding joint legal custody. Conversely, if a parent’s history contains failed attempts at recovering from alcohol addiction issues, a court might likely to stay cautious and not award child custody to that parent.
The Role of Alcohol Monitoring Programs
One of the ways that a parent with alcohol addiction issues can get increased time with their children is to agree to an alcohol monitoring program. During these programs, a parent is required to regularly have his or her blood alcohol content tested.
If a parent is still in recovery or has agreed to remain sober, the tests are often conducted at random times. While some parents might view this type of testing as an invasion of privacy, it is important to understand that alcohol monitoring is a helpful way to show that a parent is dedicated to remaining sober and improving a relationship with the child.
Furthermore, the fear of being tested at any time can also be advantageous in avoiding a relapse. As a result, alcohol monitoring programs are often a good idea for the health of the parent as well.
Speak with an Experienced Divorce Attorney
Alcoholism is just one of many factors that can make the divorce process much more complex. If you need the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney, do not hesitate to contact Vayman & Teitelbaum, PC today.