During custody hearings, testing one or both partners for alcohol abuse may become necessary. This is because alcohol misuse has negative consequences on the child. The custodial mother or father can be negligent or abusive, resulting in an intentional or accidental injury of the child.
The right alcohol test to prove that a parent hasn’t been abusing alcohol and can be trusted with a child depends on the context and situation.
These two scenarios will help you decide which test is more appropriate given the circumstances.
Mary, who used to be dependent on alcohol, wants to prove that she has not taken alcohol in 6 months. She has volunteered to prove this with whatever test that is necessary and shows she is capable of looking after her child.
To do this, Mary can carry out a breath and urine alcohol test with her solicitor. Also, a clinical assessment from a medical professional that has her medical history will be necessary. A full medical assessment and the two tests will enable Mary to build a good case of her sobriety.
A breath test detects alcohol taken a few hours before the test, while a urine tests can detect alcohol use for up to the past 4 days. It’s also important that the clinical assessment is carried out by a professional qualified to carry out a psychological evaluation.
Lisa has concerns that her ex-husband, with whom she shares joint custody of their two children, is abusing alcohol. She brings the petition before the court and the court orders her husband to undertake a test to prove he is not abusing alcohol.
The best test in this case to detect excessive alcohol usage is a hair and blood alcohol test.
The scientific consensus is that hair-strand alcohol test can detect chronic alcohol usage as far back as the hair strand sample allows – up to 12 months in some cases. A suitable hair-strand test can detect up to 5 markers of alcohol abuse and establish a higher certainty of alcohol misuse or dependency.
The blood test is important because it can establish the effects of chronic alcohol usage on the body. Together, evidence from the hair and that from the blood can be used to create a clearer profile of alcohol misuse.
The above example shows that even in similar circumstances, the right test to prove or disprove a claim divers based on the context.
The test is usually straight forward and only the presence of alcohol is required because the parent in question is expected to be completely sober.
The court is interested in making the best decision on behalf of the child and getting reliable scientific data can help the court determine what is best for the child. Custody or visiting privilege can be withdrawn if the court determines that a parent abused alcohol.
The parent would need to able to show that he/she is actively seeking help in therapy . Even if the parent is seeking help, the judge may insist that an adult must be present before the parent can visit a minor.