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Every situation is different and you must consider every factor when choosing an attorney that best fits your particular situation. Fathers Helping Fathers is here to ensure that you know that you are important in your child’s life and that unless a judge tells you you cannot see your child you have a right to be in your child’s life and cannot be shut out of it. Absolutely, we have an ever-growing list of attorneys that we have a relationship with.I cannot say that every parent I have dealt with who had a history of alcohol abuse and continued to drink destroyed their case but I believe this may be due, in part, to the fact that I only observe such parents for a period of a few months to a few years and they will be parents of minor children for 18 years.I suspect if I followed them throughout their child(ren)’s minority, eventually their alcohol use would result in an action or behavior that would undermine their relationship with their children.Sometimes the court puts a little more “teeth” in its order by allowing the other parent to request random alcohol testing of the alcoholic parent.However, so long as the court’s order allows the alcoholic parent to consume alcohol at some times (when the child is not around) but not consume it other times, this does not remove the credibility problems noted above: now the parents are simply fighting over when the alcoholic parent was drinking.I would allow the other parent to obtain random alcohol testing and one failed test would result in visitation being terminated pending further court order and would result in potential criminal contempt (that is the alcoholic parent would be subject to incarceration for drinking).
In too many cases I have observed alcoholic parents who were not in recovery destroy their custody case (and their relationship with their children) by continuing to drink.
Parents who are preoccupied with their use/abuse of alcohol or other drugs are often neglectful towards their children.
If we accept that alcoholism is a disease (which I do), the cure is simple: don’t consume alcohol.
However, if we are going to treat alcoholism as a medical issue, rather than a moral issue, then I believe such a broad restriction is justified.
Only by committing to sobriety can an alcoholic parent be safely around his or her children.
Since such determinations ride on credibility determinations, and since credibility determinations often require lots of witnesses and lots of cross-examination of these witnesses to test credibility, these hearings require substantial docket time and the court is often loath to devote substantial docket time to these issues–especially when the same issue (alcoholic parent’s drinking) keeps arising.