3 Ways To Prove Alcohol Abuse To Get Full Custody Of Your Children During A Divorce

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If you're dealing with an alcoholic spouse, you're not alone. With nearly 17 million adults in America dependent on alcohol, alcohol remains the largest drug problem in the United States. If you're sick of dealing with your spouse's dependency on alcohol, it may be time to file for divorce. If you have children from the marriage, there's a good chance that you can file for full custody, provided that you can prove with a divorce attorney that your spouse is abusing alcohol. Your divorce attorney will usually recommend that you start collecting evidence during the marriage; however, if you didn't, here are 3 additional ways that you can prove an abuse of alcohol.

Request for an EtG Alcohol Hair Test

When alcohol is consumed, it leaves a lasting trace in hair in the form of a metabolite of a molecule known as ethyl alcohol. This metabolite is known as EtG, or ethyl glucoronide, and will only show up if alcohol was consumed. Being around alcohol will not trigger a positive response. If your spouse is an alcoholic, your divorce attorney can request for an EtG alcohol hair test to be conducted, as it can provide a more in-depth look at whether alcohol was consumed within the past 7 to 90 days. As this test is usually performed by a state lab with high-end equipment, the results are deemed to be accurate and reliable. This test can determine when someone had last been drinking and whether they are a heavy or light drinker based on the concentration of metabolites detected. 

The results of the EtG alcohol hair test can be used in court to prove that your spouse is not a fit parent for your children. Results from this test can usually be obtained within a few days, so you won't have to worry about having to wait around.

Establish a Drinking Pattern with Credit Card or Debit Card Statements

In order to consume alcohol, your spouse would likely have to purchase it regularly. With that said, even if you do not have proof that your spouse is an alcoholic, the credit card statements and numbers won't lie. Your divorce attorney can easily establish a drinking pattern from credit card statements and bank records. In particular, your divorce attorney will determine the amount of money that was spent on alcohol each week or month in order to calculate frequency.

For example, your divorce attorney will look at all purchases that your spouse made at a liquor store or at a bar from his or her credit card statements. If you have receipts to back up these claims, it will further support and strengthen your case. In addition, bank records from purchases made with a debit card will also be taken into account. Keep in mind that credit card statements and bank records cannot give the judge the full picture. It can only establish that there is a drinking pattern present.  

Get Witness Testimony to Back Up Claims

If your spouse was constantly intoxicated, there's a good chance that you will have some family members or friends that are aware of your spouse's drinking problem. If not, a bartender at your spouse's favorite bar may be able to testify regarding how often he or she has seen your spouse in the past. Your divorce attorney will consider the testimony that each witness can offer in order to determine which witnesses to put on the stand.

Your divorce attorney will want to make sure that you have a strong witness who is credible and reliable. A witness with a good reputation will be deemed more trustworthy, and his or her words will have more value.


Alcohol abuse is a common cause for divorce. If you're considering divorcing your spouse, you should consider collecting evidence as early as possible. This way, your divorce attorney will have a strong case to present, and you'll have a better chance of being granted full custody. On top of proving that your spouse was abusing alcohol, your attorney also has to prove that your spouse would be an unfit parent. Still, there are many ways that you can collect evidence after filing for divorce as well as mentioned above.

For more information, contact a professional like Harold Jarnicki Attorney At Law.