- Even if one parent abuses alcohol, it may still be in the child’s best interests to spend sufficient amounts of time with both parents.
- Navigating co-parenting arrangements with someone who abuses alcohol can be particularly risky if the right technology is not in place.
- Digital tools make it easier to manage the co-parenting landscape, with remote alcohol monitoring ensuring peace of mind about a parent’s sobriety.
Table of contents:
- Why Digital Tools Are Important in This Day and Age
- Difficulties of Co-Parenting With Someone Who Abuses Alcohol
- The Importance of Keeping a Child With Both Parents
- Digital Tools to Use
A divorce can be a challenging experience, especially when it involves working out parenting roles. Different priorities, contrasting parenting styles, and communication problems can all add to the challenge. That’s why it can be particularly tricky if the case involves a co-parent with an alcohol abuse problem.
The top priority should be on ensuring the child’s best interests, which often involve having a good relationship with both parents. If that’s the case, how can a parent make sure that a co-parent’s alcohol abuse doesn’t affect the welfare of the child?
Fortunately for divorced parents, digital tools now help make it easier to ensure child safety and maintain proper communication in custody and alcohol cases.
Why Digital Tools Are Important in This Day and Age
Technology has evolved over the years, providing divorced spouses with sophisticated digital tools to co-parent successfully. These tools make it easier for parents to seamlessly share information, improve the quality and frequency of communication, support child safety, and allow convenient conversations. As such, parents can share the child’s schedule, track shared expenses, provide sobriety updates, get notified about upcoming appointments, and more.
A University of Missouri study discovered that parents in effective co-parenting relationships found communication technologies helpful in simplifying planning and decision-making regarding their children.
However, it’s important to note that digital tools are only as effective as the parents who use them. Parents in contentious divorces may not necessarily use technology to make co-parenting easier. Instead, they may also use it to influence a co-parent’s behavior, withhold information, reduce conflicts, or even limit a co-parent’s influence in important parenting decisions.
As such, to make the most of these digital tools, co-parents must be willing to use them in a way that enhances the experience for everyone and prioritizes the child’s well-being.
Difficulties of Co-Parenting With Someone Who Abuses Alcohol
Working out parenting roles and custody arrangements can be particularly challenging when co-parenting with someone who abuses alcohol.
The biggest concern that comes up is the safety and well-being of the child. Every state requires that the child’s best interests remain the primary concern in all custody-related decisions. However, the court may decide that this “best interest” is spending equal amounts of parenting time with both parents. In this case, it would be a challenge to remove the child completely from the parent who abuses alcohol.
How can one ensure that their co-parent is staying sober? More importantly, how can they ensure that a co-parent is sober during parenting time? Will the alcohol-abusing co-parent have difficulty maintaining the child’s safety? All of these are important concerns that might come up when co-parenting with someone who excessively drinks.
The Importance of Keeping a Child With Both Parents
While co-parenting with someone with an alcohol abuse problem can be risky, it may not be in the child’s best interest to keep them away from one parent. At least 50 studies have proven that having a good relationship with both parents supports child development. According to these studies, spending at least 35% of the time with each parent can positively impact children’s academic, social, and psychological well-being.
For example, children who have a good relationship with both parents are more likely to get better grades. They’re also less likely to develop anxiety, depression, and stress-related illnesses.
As a result, the courts may find a way to grant sufficient parenting time even to a co-parent who abuses alcohol, provided the co-parent is making an active effort to stay sober and enact certain safeguards.
Digital Tools to Use
Fortunately for parents, there is an abundance of digital tools to streamline their child-raising efforts even when co-parenting with someone who abuses alcohol. Besides communication tools, remote alcohol monitoring systems can also play a crucial role in providing peace of mind.
Soberlink is a remote alcohol monitoring system that combines an alcohol testing device with facial recognition, tamper detection, and Advanced Reporting to provide documented proof of sobriety in real-time. Scheduled testing and monitoring plans, designed with ease-of-use in mind, allow co-parents to monitor alcohol consumption to ensure child safety. After the Monitored Client submits a test, Soberlink sends the testing data to the individual’s network, assuring them that the co-parent stays sober during parenting time. During a drinking event, co-parents can swiftly intervene and remove their child from the care of the monitored co-parent.
The system’s Advanced Reporting capabilities also generate reports in real-time so support networks can track the Monitored Client’s progress, promoting further accountability.
One of the most robust digital tools for co-parenting, OurFamilyWizard creates an accurate log of all divorce communications. It also allows parents to track parenting time, manage schedules, share important files, and track expenses.
Zoom is also an important tool to make child custody arrangements work, especially if a co-parent has an alcohol abuse problem. While the child spends time with the alcohol-abusing co-parent, a parent can check in with them through video calls to make sure they’re safe. Alternatively, the alcohol-abusing co-parent can also have regular video calls with the child to maintain ongoing communication even if they can’t meet them physically.
One of the best organizational tools for co-parenting, 2houses offers a calendar that allows both parents to keep track of important dates and children’s schedules. It also comes with an expense tracking feature to keep a clear record of each parent’s contributions. In addition, the custody journal is a great way for co-parents to share news, information, pictures, and videos and maintain a strong bond with the family.
Making Co-Parenting Work When Alcohol Abuse Is Involved
Co-parenting arrangements aren’t always easy to work out and maintain. The challenge becomes twice as hard when co-parenting with someone who abuses alcohol. However, it may still be in the best interests of the child to spend sufficient time with both parents, following the implementation of appropriate safeguards. Fortunately, plenty of tools streamline custody for co-parents, with remote alcohol monitoring a critical addition in cases that involve alcohol abuse.