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Addressing a parent's alcoholism in collaborative divorce

Ending a marriage via a collaborative divorce has many advantages. Besides saving time and money, it gives both spouses greater control over the process. It also helps them maintain an amicable relationship and practice working together -- two things that are essential if they have children whom they will be co-parenting.

Even serious and sensitive issues like alcoholism can be dealt with in collaborative divorce. In fact, this process, which also provides greater privacy than a litigated divorce, can help couples deal with these issues more honestly and constructively.

When a spouse has struggled with alcoholism, even if they're in recovery, it's only natural that their co-parent may have concerns about them having custody or even unsupervised visitation rights. That's particularly true if there have been incidents where a child was neglected or exposed to potential harm because of a parent's drinking.

One way that parents who've had an alcohol problem can gain greater access to their children and work to rebuild the trust of their co-parent and their kids is by agreeing to remote alcohol monitoring. These monitoring systems, which use a tool similar to a Breathalyzer, confirm a person's sobriety in real time. The co-parent and whoever else is agreed on can see the results immediately from wherever they are.

Couples in litigated divorces may have a judge and perhaps a social worker reviewing these results. However, people using alternative divorce resolution (ADR) methods also use remote alcohol monitoring systems. In both scenarios, they provide empirical evidence and prevent he said/she said arguments.

If you are considering suggesting a remote alcohol monitoring system either for yourself or your co-parent, it's wise to learn a little more about them. Your attorney can help you work to make the case for incorporating it into your custody agreement.

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