How a Wife or Husband's Drug Dependence Might Alter Your Divorce Process

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Millions of Americans battle with drug addiction, including the use of alcohol, controlled substances, and prescription drugs. Oftentimes, those who are fighting substance addiction can produce significant problems inside of their own households, that can result in dissolution. If you are divorcing a husband or wife with a drug addiction, you need to understand the way this problem could affect custody of your children and assets division. This short article discusses how a spouse's addiction can impact your tactics throughout a divorce.

Applying for Dissolution Based upon Drug abuse

Today, all American states enable husband or wives to apply for a divorce based on no-fault premises, like detachment or "irreconcilable differences," indicating you and your husband or wife can not co-habitate any longer. With a no-fault divorce, you don't have to show that your wife or husband did something to bring about the break up.

In a lot of states, however, in some states, including Texas and New York, you can still file for dissolution based upon wrongdoing grounds, like infidelity, bitter activity, and chemical or alcohol abuse. In the areas that still enable these fault-based divorces, you'll always be able to request a dissolution based upon your husband or wife's chemical abuse.

Even in the areas where you can just apply for a no-fault divorce, like California and Florida, you can still introduce proof of your spouse's chemical abuse during the case as it might connect to custody and other problems in the dissolution.

The sober husband or wife usually has an upper hand in compromises and many times has the ability to acquire a favorable outcome without having to openly try the case in a court of law.

How Drug Dependence Impacts The Children's Custody

One area in which chemical abuse weighs greatly is in your children's custody. While controlled drinking probably won't impact a custody decision, courts will carefully think about any drug abuse problem that impacts parenting competency. Usually, a mother or father with a drug abuse issue is far less likely to win custody of the children.



Courts have a number of approaches to protect kids from a father or mother's addiction troubles during visitation periods. The court might order that there be no over night visiting. The court might likewise compel a professional to supervise all visitation time spans. Courts often require that addicted mom or dads submit to periodic drug and alcohol screens, go to Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings, or receive substance addiction therapy. Custody orders often command mom or dads to avoid usage of alcohol or controlled drugs prior to and throughout visitation.

In extreme circumstances, a judge can award complete custody of children to the sober mom or dad, with the addicted mother or father having no visitation at all. In cases where the addicted mom or dad has actually caused significant injury to a child due to drug dependence, a court could terminate that father or mother's custodial rights altogether.

How Addiction Impacts the Division of Assets

In numerous states, judges won't take into account fault when splitting a marital estate (anything a husband and wife owns together), but in some states, a husband or wife's behavior during the marriage is applicable to the division of property. In these states, the court will think about a spouse's drug dependence when choosing how much of the shared property each husband or wife ought to get.

A judge could decide to grant a bigger share of the marital estate to the sober spouse, especially if the addicted husband or wife's addiction problems adversely impacted the married couple's financial circumstances. For example, if the addicted father or mother squandered a sizable quantity of the marriage savings on alcohol and drugs, a court could award the sober husband or wife a larger share of the couple's assets as a type of compensation.

How Drug Abuse Impacts Alimony

Similar to how chemical abuse influences assets division, drug addiction is probably to affect alimony when an addicted wife or husband has damaged the couple's financial circumstances. In most jurisdictions, a judge could choose to award extra alimony to the wife or husband of an addict if the addict emptied the couple's finances feeding the substance addiction.

In some fairly unusual situations, a sober husband or wife can be directed to pay spousal support to an addicted husband or wife. If a husband or wife's drug substance addiction has resulted in a mental disorder mandating institutionalization, the sober husband or wife could be directed to cover the costs of treatment not covered by disability benefits.

How Addiction Impacts Working Out a Divorce Settlement

If your wife or husband has a history of addiction problems, he or she will typically be at a detriment in a number of aspects of the dissolution. Courts take addiction issues extremely seriously, and there may be strong repercussions in a dissolution case for an addicted husband or wife, especially when it comes to custody of the children.

Public accusations of substance addiction issues could hurt that husband or wife's good reputation, career, and even lead to criminal charges. Due to this, the sober husband or wife typically has an edge in negotiations and often times is able to acquire a beneficial settlement without having to publicly attempt the case in court.

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