If you’re like most parents, you probably don’t want your children exposed to excessive drinking, marijuana use or drug use by adults and others who are around them. You might not even want your children exposed to excessive tobacco smoking. This is perfectly understandable and responsible. However, if your ex-spouse has a history of substance abuse, the problem of exposure to intoxicants and intoxicated people could be a very real concern.

You need to protect your children by making some formal agreements with your co-parent about your child’s custody and care. That way, you can safeguard against your child being exposed to these kinds of vices by including some specific language in your child custody agreement.

Some parenting provisions you can include might read as follows:

— Both parents can refuse the other parent access to the child in the case that the other parent is intoxicated by alcohol or drugs and their condition represents a threat to the child’s safety.

— The parents may not consume intoxicating substances within 12 hours of being with the children.

— The parents cannot allow the consumption of intoxicating substances by third parties in the presence of the children unless those substances were prescribed by a doctor.

— The child will never be exposed to secondhand smoke while at home or in a vehicle with the parents.

— The parents agree to never leave intoxicating substances in a place where the children have access to them.

If the other parent of your children suffers from addictions or drug-related difficulties, make sure you discuss your situation with your legal counsel. Your family law attorney can advise you of different strategies that could help keep your children safe after the divorce.