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Protecting your children from an addicted parent

Many marriages come to an end because of substance abuse and addiction. In fact, addiction is one of the top reasons that spouses decide to get a divorce.

However, if you have children, the conflict and difficulty related to a spouse with substance problems don't stop when you sign the divorce and child custody agreements. You could find yourself needing to defend your children against your spouse's alcohol or drug addiction later.

For this reason, you might want to consider including a few rules about drugs, alcohol and other substances in your parenting plan. The following parenting provisions are a few examples of those that some parents include:

  • Parents can refuse their co-parent the ability to see the child if that parent is intoxicated and, therefore, could put the children in danger.
  • Neither of the parents will permit other individuals to consume any kind of intoxicating substance in the presence of the kids unless it was prescribed by a physician.
  • The children will not be exposed to second-hand smoke.
  • Parents will not permit the children to consume intoxicating substances, and they will not leave such substances in an area to which the children may gain access.
  • Neither of the parents may consume any type of intoxicating substance within a 12-hour period of being with the children.

Co-parenting with an ex who has a drug or alcohol problem isn't easy. However, with the aid of an experienced family law attorney, you can work to do everything in your power to protect your children from being exposed to negligent, irresponsible and potentially dangerous behavior.

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