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Protecting children from an alcohol-dependent ex

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2022 | Divorce |

People divorce for various reasons. Multiple factors lead to the growing distance between spouses. A growingly common problem that outright shatters unsalvageable marriages involve spouses addicted to alcohol. As the situation spirals out of control, the union fractures, and ex-partners go their separate ways.

Even if a marriage cannot be saved, ending the union may not end drinking problems. Fears of driving under the influence and the impact on caring for children arise, forcing the sober spouse to take action to protect their children.

Options to secure kids’ safety

Multiple options exist to protect children from a parent suffering from an alcohol abuse disorder. Maintaining documentation of times the ex-spouse was under the influence is potentially useful for custody litigation. As a last resort, denying access to offspring is a common option.

The best choice is to help get the addiction under control with the help of a mental health professional. A 12-step program provided by or similar to Alcoholics Anonymous is also a step in the right direction.

Other co-parents choose various types of alcohol monitoring that can include:

  • Soberlink is essentially a breathalyzer that contains facial recognition to ensure the right person is using it. The device can also set results to be delivered to the other parent or anyone else doing the monitoring
  • A scram device that is worn on the ankle that monitors any alcohol use or abuse
  • An Interlock device where a driver is required to blow into a mouthpiece before starting and driving the vehicle, particularly necessary when children are in the back seats.
  • Random testing via a third party that could include an addiction psychiatrist

The end of a marriage is traumatic enough without one spouse dealing with substance abuse problems. As with anything involving children, their best interests and safety come first.