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Will drinking alcohol impact your custody rights?

| Mar 11, 2021 | Family Law |

There are plenty of parents who sit down and have a glass of wine at night to unwind. There are parents who go out with friends to drink at bars on the weekends or who enjoy drinking while watching a sporting event on TV.

Those situations aren’t inherently dangerous most of the time, but a parent who drinks too much could be putting themselves in a tough position. Those parents may find that they have a harder time getting the custody time they want, especially if the other parent or their child has a problem with their drinking habits.

Will drinking alcohol impact your custody rights?

Normally, drinking alcohol in and of itself isn’t going to influence how custody is divided. However, if the other parent can show that you’ve put your child in danger by being intoxicated or that you have a history of driving drunk, then it could get harder to fight for the custody time you want. Even if you can get it, you may find that the judge would like you to have supervised visitation.

A bigger issue may arise if you have an older child who gives their opinion to the judge. For example, a teen who says that their parent is drinking a half a bottle of wine every night may influence a judge’s opinion on that parent, especially if the teen has asked not to live with them.

You’re most likely to see an impact on your custody rights if you:

  • Have been arrested for public intoxication
  • Were caught drinking and driving
  • Drove drunk with your child in the vehicle
  • Were involved in a domestic dispute that also involved intoxication

All this being said, drinking itself isn’t necessarily enough to show that you’re a bad parent or that you shouldn’t see your child a fair amount of time. This is something to discuss with your attorney if you’re concerned about how you may appear to the court. Taking action in advance can help prepare you for what may happen and give your attorney time to counter those arguments and protect your custody rights.