Alcoholism and drug abuse issues are very prevalent in child custody disputes and in our society. Knowledge of the type of testing available, the type of testing that is appropriate (and for how long) and an understanding of the disease of alcoholism and drug abuse is key to resolving these ongoing issues. It is important to understand that alcoholism and drug abuse is a process and that part of that process of recovery often includes "falling off the wagon." There are many creative ways to maintain a child's relationship with a parent yet protect them from being victims of alcoholism or substance abuse. Alcoholism and drug abuse are typically symptoms of a larger problem. These cases are most difficult when a party is an alcoholic or a user but is in denial. Parents who have substance abuse issues need to have a relationship with their children. They need an attorney who understands recovery and can guide them in getting help for the benefit of their children. Spouses who are trying to protect their children in a situation where the spouse has a substance abuse problem need an attorney who understands all of the options available to them and how to effectively protect their children while maintaining a safe relationship with the other parent.