Parents have the right to engage in the consumption of alcohol in a responsible and appropriate manner. However, alcohol is a substance that can have profound effects on behavior. When consumed often or in high quantities, it can severely affect people’s ability to be good parents who are always looking out for their children’s best interests.
It is common for one parent to have concerns about the behavior of another parent when child custody is shared. One might have reason to believe that the other parent is consuming alcohol while caring for their child, and the concerned parent will likely question the safety of their child.
When does alcohol use become a problem?
It is hard to give an objective view on what quantity or frequency of alcohol consumption is problematic. But in the court’s eyes, the safety and care of the child in question should be the top priority. If there is any risk that the child could be in danger or at risk of neglect because of a parent’s alcohol consumption, the courts will want to conduct an investigation and decide whether a child custody modification is appropriate.
Should the other parent take action if he or she has concerns?
If shared custody of the child is already in place, there would have already been an assessment of both parents’ ability to care for their child. Therefore, if you are to raise an issue with the courts, you must show that a change has occurred, for example, that you have reason to believe that the other parent has started drinking more heavily, or started to drink while caring for the child. This change in circumstances can validate the reasoning behind your actions.
Before taking action, it is important that you have some type of documented evidence to back up your claims. This could be a statement from your child, or a police report that was recently filed.
If you are worried about the safety of your child when in the custody of the other parent in Arizona, it is important that you take action.