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  • Writer's pictureAngela Larimer

Co-Parenting When Your Ex Suffers from Addiction

To learn more about how to co-parent with an Ex suffering from addiction in Chicago, Illinois, call child custody attorney Angela Larimer at 773-370-0600.

Collecting more information about addiction, open communication, putting healthy boundaries in place, and prioritizing the children’s safety are effective strategies for co-parenting with an ex-spouse who suffers from addiction. These strategies may also help the sober parent offer compassionate support to the other parent struggling with addiction while prioritizing children’s safety and comfort. Families in Chicago looking for a co-parenting arrangement that suits the needs of both parents and children can get in touch with family law attorney Angela Larimer by dialing 773-370-0600.

Collecting More Information About Addiction and Substance Abuse

If the co-parent suffering from addiction is in treatment, the sober parent can educate himself or herself on how to assist or at least peacefully co-exist. He or she should gather as much information about addiction and substance abuse as possible. Starting therapy, attending sessions and support groups for friends or family members suffering from addiction, and taking advantage of many resources available online are great ways to learn more about addiction. It’s imperative to also gather more information about appropriate ways to discuss divorce with children.

Advising the Co-parent to See a Therapist

A professional therapist can offer an accurate evaluation of the co-parent’s addiction problems. In addition to a professional therapist, other therapy options for substance abuse and addiction range from individual therapy and support groups to outpatient therapy and inpatient rehab.

Practicing Direct Communication

Communicating openly and straightforwardly with the co-parent is an effective way to make co-parenting work, particularly if the addiction problem is moderate to severe. The sober parent may determine if the other parent is using drugs as a stress management tool by asking questions touching on how the other parent is coping with stress and work/child/life balance.

Setting Healthy Boundaries

The sober parent can be compassionate and, at the same time, set healthy boundaries with his or her co-parent. Just because the sober parent understands the other parent’s struggle, it doesn’t mean he or she should expose himself or herself or even the kids to it. Instead, he or she should set healthy boundaries on how the children interact with the co-parent. Perhaps it’s a phone or video call rather than an in-person visit or maybe it’s a few hours after school or on weekends. A child custody attorney can explain the different options that a parent has when it comes to modifying his or her parental responsibilities agreement.

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