In some conflicted Sacramento Custody cases, parties will raise issues concerning the other parent’s misuse/abuse of alcohol. If the Sacramento Family Court Services mediators and the court are concerned, they may order a substance abuse evaluation with a licensed substance abuse counselor. The Sacramento Family Court must consider the habitual illegal use of controlled substances and habitual use of alcohol in determining which custody arrangement would be in the best interest of the child.
The substance abuse counselor will interview one (or both) of the parents and ask them to take a wide range of psychological diagnostic tests. These tests are designed to uncover evidence of current and past indicators of substance abuse. The tests are also useful in determining if a party is underreporting or lying about their substance use and abuse. The counselor will ask questions about the history of alcohol use, drunkenness, criminal arrests and convictions, and parenting while using alcohol. The counselor will review the court pleading history on the issue and may interview other witnesses to obtain their perspective on the abuse allegations and their observations of the accused spouse’s alcohol use.