Daniel Baldwin, Joanne Smith-Baldwin

AP Photo / Tammie Arroyo

Daniel Baldwin is thinking about his kids. And because he wants what's best for them, he has to always be thinking about staying sober, as well.

"There have been situations that have arisen in my life with my relationship with Joanne that put my sobriety in great peril," Baldwin exclusively tells E! News, referring to his estranged wife, who filed for divorce last month.

He and Joanne met in 2007 when she was working as a chef at a rehab facility where he was receiving treatment. They have two young daughters together, Finley, 2, and Avis, 3.

Joanne, too, has struggled with a drinking problem, and that, Baldwin says, is what led him to first file for divorce—and a restraining order—back in July.

"She had too much to drink that evening," he recalled, referring to the summer night when Joanne allegedly threatened to slit his throat, an allegation he made in court documents.

"This escalated to my waking up to the house being trashed—trashed," Baldwin said. "The kids up, crying, they don't understand what's going on. My daughter inevitably hears just about everything said in that house.

"There was a heated statement [by Joanne] about, um, taking my life, a threat," the actor continued. "And my child reiterated that, 'Is Mommy going to kill us?' And when she asked me that question, I had such a sunken...A child should never...have to ask that question."

While Daniel was shooting a movie in Texas recently, his wife agreed to let their daughters stay with a family friend until their dad returned to their Oregon home.

But Joanne shot down an initial statement from Daniel in which he said that the Oregon Department of Human Services had forcibly removed the kids from their mother's care. She admitted that the DHS had been monitoring their case, due to Daniel's threat allegations, but she said it was her choice to relocate the kids temporarily while she "regrouped."

"I have been alcohol-free for three months," Joanne also said, "and am staying on track with my sobriety."

"I remember when [brother Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger] split up," Daniel told E! News, "and I had a conversation with Kim when I said, 'He's the greatest father, he loves his daughter...Go into the courtroom and cut his head off, if that's what you think you need to do, but in front of that child, none of that should come out.'"

But Daniel didn't indicate that he plans to go to court and cut anyone's proverbial head off.

"My hope and my prayer for this whole situation is for us to move on and be coparenting with our children in the best possible way we can and never let them see any of this stuff again," he said.

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