How your Spouse's Addiction May Alter Your Dissolution Tactics

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Countless people in the United States struggle with drug addiction, including things like the use of liquor, illegal drugs, and prescription medications. Usually, those who are contending with substance addiction can produce significant problems within their own households, that could bring on dissolution. If you are divorcing a husband or wife with a substance addiction, you must recognize the way in which this trouble might impact custody of your children and assets division. This short article describes how a husband or wife's drug abuse may influence your tactics during the course of a divorce.

Filing for Divorce Based upon Substance Abuse

Today, all U.S. states enable husband or wives to apply for a marital dissolution based on no-fault premises, like separation or "irreconcilable differences," implying you and your wife or husband can not get along any longer. By having a no-fault divorce, you really don't need to show that your spouse did anything to induce the break up.

In most states, however, in some states, including Texas and New York, you may still file for divorce based upon fault grounds, like infidelity, unkind treatment, and chemical or alcohol abuse. In the places that continue to enable these accusatory divorces, you'll always have the ability to request a dissolution based upon your husband or wife's chemical abuse.

Even in the states where you can only file for a no-fault divorce, such as California and Florida, you can still present evidence of your husband or wife's addiction during the proceedings as it might connect to custody and other problems in the divorce.



The sober spouse usually has an upper hand in settlements and often times is able to obtain a beneficial outcome without having to publicly try the case in a court of law.

How Chemical Abuse Influences The Children's Custody

One particular area where drug abuse weighs greatly is child custody. While modest drinking probably will not influence a custody determination, judges will strongly think about any chemical abuse problem that impacts parenting ability. Usually, a mother or father with a drug dependence issue is far less likely to receive child custody.

Courts have a number of solutions to protect kids from a mother or father's addiction problems during visitation periods. The court could order that there be no overnight visiting. The court might also mandate an expert to supervise all visitation time spans. Courts often obligate that addicted father or mothers submit to regular alcohol and drug screens, go to Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous sessions, or receive substance addiction treatment. Custody orders almost always direct mother or fathers to avoid use of alcohol or controlled compounds prior to and at the time of visitation.

In extreme cases, a judge could award full custodianship of children to the sober mom or dad, with the addicted mom or dad having no visitation whatsoever. In cases where the addicted dad or mom has caused significant injury to a kid due to chemical abuse, a court could terminate that mother or father's custodial rights completely.

How Addiction Affects the Division of Assets

In lots of states, judges won't take into account fault when splitting up a marital estate (anything a couple owns together), but in some places, a husband or wife's behavior throughout the marriage is relevant to the division of assets. In these states, the judge will take into account a wife or husband's substance abuse when determining just how much of the mutual property each wife or husband should receive.

A judge might determine to award a greater share of the marital estate to the sober husband or wife, particularly if the addicted spouse's addiction issues negatively impacted the husband and wife's financial circumstances. For example, if the addicted father or mother spent a sizable amount of the marital savings on drugs and alcohol, a judge could grant the sober husband or wife a bigger share of the couple's assets as a type of compensation.

How Addiction Impacts Spousal support

Much like how chemical abuse affects assets division, substance addiction is probably to impact spousal support when an addicted wife or husband has hurt the couple's finances. In most states, a judge could choose to grant extra alimony to the wife or husband of an addict if the addict emptied the couple's monetary resources fueling the substance addiction.

In some fairly unusual situations, a sober husband or wife might be obligated to pay spousal support to an addicted husband or wife. If a spouse's drug substance addiction has led to a mental disorder commanding institutionalization, the sober husband or wife could be obligated to cover the costs of therapy not covered by disability benefits.

How Substance Abuse Affects Negotiating a Dissolution Settlement

If your husband or wife has a history of drug addiction problems, he or she will typically be at a detriment in several aspects of the divorce. Courts take chemical abuse issues extremely seriously, and there can be strong repercussions in a dissolution case for an addicted spouse, particularly when it comes to child custody.

Public allegations of addiction problems could hurt that wife or husband's image, career, or even result in criminal charges. Due to this, the sober spouse typically has an advantage in negotiations and often times is able to get a beneficial settlement without having to openly attempt the case in court.

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