Addiction of any kind does not just affect the addicted individual — it can impact the whole family. For this reason, accusations of alcohol abuse can drastically influence the outcome of a child custody case.
Whether you suspect your child’s other parent of abusing alcohol or your child’s other parent has lodged allegations against you, you may wonder how you can prove or disprove allegations of alcohol abuse. The American Bar Association provides a few ways in which parties to a custody dispute may prove or disprove addiction allegations.
The most surefire way to prove or disprove allegations of excess alcohol use is via concrete evidence. Typically, this comes in the form of medical reports, DUI arrest records and/or proof of court-ordered treatment. If you have such documentation against the other parent, and if you can easily access it, you may be able to substantiate your claims. Likewise, if such evidence does not exist, you can use the lack of evidence in your favor.
If you do not have documentation, you may ask the other parent to take an EtG test. An EtG test can detect alcohol in a person’s urine from as far back as 80 days. More importantly, the results of an EtG can determine a person’s drinking patterns.
While the EtG test can help prove or disprove drinking claims, the U.S. courts cannot legally mandate a person to take one based on accusations alone. You must either convince the other party to take the test or provide enough supporting documentation that the courts will order one. As the accused party, an EtG test can also help to disprove allegations.
If you do not have documentation and/or if the other party refuses to take an EtG test, you may be able to prove your claim via witness testimony. If one or several other people can attest to your claims that the other parent abuses alcohol regularly — and if he or she asserts that such abuse creates an unsafe environment for your child — you may have a case. Like witness testimony can help to prove claims, it can also help to disprove claims.
Regardless of which side of the fence you are on, it is crucial — for your case and your child’s welfare — that you prove or disprove claims of alcohol abuse. Get the help you need to do so effectively.