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How Substance Abuse Can Impact Your Divorce

Strong people create strong marriages. If one person struggles, the other is there to support them. When substance abuse presents itself, the person with the addiction cannot take care of themselves, let alone their spouse. This matter compounds when the spouse (who isn’t battling addiction) fears for their safety or the well-being of their child. Although anyone who is suffering from drug or alcohol dependency issues deserves to get help, they still may not be in a position to be part of a healthy marriage.  

People who plan on divorcing someone who battles substance abuse may have several concerns. They see divorce as a means of protecting themselves and their family, but they also worry about the other parent’s ability to raise their child independently. Anyone who has been in this position knows how emotionally difficult it is to visualize their child being alone with someone who cannot refrain from drugs or alcohol. 

Child Custody

Substance abuse will play a significant factor in your divorce process, especially if the person refuses to get the help your family needs. When determining physical and legal custody, the courts will make the decision that is in the best interest of the child. Because drugs and alcohol can inhibit a person’s ability to be a responsible parent, your attorney may argue against shared physical custody or joint legal custody. 

Another common concern is that your spouse may deny they are an addict or outright claim you are the one lying. This is why it is essential to speak to a family law attorney who has worked with people in your position. One of the reasons this is so important is that you can document their actions, but you cannot do so if it involves breaking the law. Here are some things you can do: 

  • Print out bank records that show how much money someone has spent on alcohol or drugs.
  • Take pictures of any drugs or paraphernalia in the home.
  • Make a list of people who have witnessed the person abusing drugs or alcohol who could serve as potential witnesses.
  • Save text messages or emails from the person that speaks to their addiction or the aggressive behavior accompanying it. 
  • Email yourself the things you document so that it has a timestamp.

Empowered Family Law Group, P.C. 

At the Empowered Family Law Group, we support your brave decision to remove you and your child from this volatile situation. People in this position may feel like they have become isolated from their friends and family or have become the targets of physical and emotional abuse from their spouses. Furthermore, we can appreciate how sensitive this matter may be to you. To speak with one of our attorneys, schedule a confidential consultation with us, so we can be the help you need to work through this challenging time in your life.

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Empowered Family Law, PC

With Empowered Family Law, you get an advocate who sees difficulties as opportunities for growth and emphasizes healing and problem-solving no matter how challenging your case.

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