I Think My Ex Is An Alcoholic, How Can I Best Protect My Children If I’m The Non-Custodial Parent?

There are many ways children can be harmed by an alcoholic parent. They include being injured in a car accident, physical or emotional abuse and being introduced to alcohol through its availability. It is important for you to find ways to protect your children from a custodial parent who is an alcoholic.

In this Divorced Fathers Rights guide we outline how to protect your children if you think your ex is an alcoholic.

Tell the Court of Your Concern

You can talk to the court directly, but you should discuss it with your divorce attorney too. They might have a strategy in mind that will best protect your children. In cases such as this, the court will often hold an emergency hearing to review the facts. If you have credible witnesses who can attest to your ex-spouse’s alcohol problem, resulting abuse driving after consuming alcohol, they should be presented.

The court might mandate an evaluation, and if it is determined that the custodial parent has a drinking problem, alcohol counseling or even in-patient rehab might be mandated. Or, the court may order the ex-spouse not to drive with the kids within 12 hours of drinking. In some cases the court will demand that the parent stop drinking and will require them to be tested for drugs and alcohol on a regular basis for a period of 3-6 months, possibly longer.

Violations of these court-ordered measured designed to protect your kids from an alcoholic parent may result in the custodial parent losing custody. This may not mean, however, that you automatically get sole custody. Your divorce attorney will be able to help you pursue custody.

Talking with your Children

If your children tell you anything that sounds like abuse has taken place, contact your attorney. The next step will be to contact the police or the court. If you are concerned your ex-spouse might be driving while under the influence with the kids in the car, encourage older children to say something to the other parent such as, “you have been drinking, and I don’t want to ride in a car you’re driving.”

You may want to provide the child with a cell phone. If they feel threatened or are forced to ride, they can text you a message. If the parent is driving erratically, the child can text you or dial 911. Perhaps, they can text you where they are going. Call police immediately, and tell them the car’s destination.

Report any such incident to your divorce attorney or to the court directly. If your ex is an alcoholic, this is how you can protect your children if you are the non-custodial parent.

After you read this guide, visit our helpful articles for more information on: child visitationchild supportchild custody issueshow to get legal advice or answers on your state laws,