For parents trying to protect their children from a former partner’s alcohol abuse, it can be very difficult to trust an assertion that somebody has made changes to their lifestyle.
They are (understandably) unwilling to place their child in a situation where their caregiver may be under the influence of alcohol.
However, from the perspective of the parent who had a previous alcohol problem but has since taken steps to address this, it can be very difficult to build up trust to allow unsupervised contact to progress naturally.
A recent article in the Law Gazette suggested an innovative solution to this problem. It proposed that the parent seeking unsupervised contact purchase an alcohol breath testing device, and noted that these can be found relatively cheaply online. With a supply of disposable breathing tubes, breath testing can be undertaken (away from the child) both before and after contact and logged in a contact diary signed by both parents.
This simple but effective mechanism can allow the parent seeking contact the opportunity to prove their long term sobriety, and the parent with care the opportunity to develop trust in their former partner’s ability to prioritise the needs of their child. The full text of the article can be found here.
Whilst not common amongst the Courts yet, this is an out-of-the-box solution to a problem which is all too common.
If you think that this might be a helpful solution to your case, please get in touch with our family law solicitors Exeter and Plymouth.