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Specialty tag(s): High-Conflict Divorce

Dealing With an Ex Who is an Alcoholic

Jeff Domen | January 13, 2015

To some people, the hardest decision they ever have to make is deciding to file for divorce from an alcoholic spouse. When the decision is made, one thing that is seldom analyzed is the fact that one day; the children might be left alone with the alcoholic spouse. To many single parents, this is a constant cause of concern and litigation. The question that I have faced on numerous occasions in my practice is whether a non-alcoholic spouse can monitor their alcohol abusing ex-spouse after the divorce. For a long time the answer was no – but that is changing.

For years, the Courts have employed an antiquated system of only detecting alcohol several days or weeks after consumption has occurred. This focus on the past often leaves Courts without an adequate remedy to safely protect the children other than supervised possession which can be costly and detrimental to long term possession. Fortunately, technology is changing and with the change, the Courts have a new option to protect children from alcoholic parents who wish to exercise their possession of the children.

The hottest new alcohol detection device in the family law arena is here – and it is called Soberlink. Soberlink has revolutionized the family law industry not because of what it does, but because of how it does it. Soberlink does not just test for alcohol consumption, but get this, Soberlink immediately notifies the other parent if alcohol has been consumed and can also be set up to immediately notify the Court.

Soberlink uses a portable alcohol breath analyzer and breathing tube to capture the blood alcohol content and a photograph of the individual blowing into the device and then immediately (within 60 seconds) sends the reading to a centralizing monitoring facility. If positive blood alcohol content (above .02) is detected, an email and text message is transmitted to the interested parties. This instant notification enables a non-drinking parent to take steps necessary to protect the children from a drinking parent.

Although not perfect for every situation, Soberlink offers another option for Courts, attorneys and litigants to do everything they can to protect children during and after a divorce.

I personally tested Soberlink for 30 days to find all the pros and cons on the device. If you are interested in learning more about how Soberlink can help you, feel free to reach me via email.

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Beth E. Maultsby

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