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The Process of Divorce Against an Addicted Spouse

Handley LLC March 12, 2019

Divorce is difficult enough, but the whole process is a much greater challenge if one spouse is a toxic person. The addiction of your spouse might have led up to divorce or may have been a new habit since you decided to part ways. He/she may be dependent on medicinal products, prohibited drugs or alcohol. In any case, it is often both maddening and heartbreaking to divorce a someone while they’re confronting an addiction.

Drugs and alcohol can lead to divorce without treatment. Of course, any addiction breaks down confidence and creates barriers to a healthy relationship. You’ll know the truth of the statement if you have been through it.

In the experience of family attorneys in Oklahoma City, OK, addiction can cause:

  • Trust issues

  • Problem with physical intimacy

  • Difficulty with communication

  • Financial trouble or with other responsibilities that may lead to divorce.

The Process

The courts may be hesitant to give the person having an addiction certain privileges if there is evidence of addiction such as, either a criminal record like a DUI, drug tests, time spent in rehab or similar. It is essential to take the help of an experienced attorney who’s dealt with other instances where dependence has played a key role to determine how your case will work.

Child Custody

If ever there are children involved, decisions that are in their best interest are more important than ever. If children are endangered in any way, then an addicted parent should not visit or should be monitored. You may also like to ensure that your kids can handle their feelings while making these changes.

When deciding which childcare arrangement will be best for the child, a family attorney in Oklahoma City, OK will convince the judge to take into consideration either parent's health and capability. If one particular parent demonstrates past or present addiction, the custody arrangements will probably be affected.

Receiving custody can be prevented by the habits of a parent's substance abuse if it affects their child care capacity in any way. For instance, someone who struggles with heroin addiction may not be a good joint custodian candidate because such risky behavior may put their child at risk. The court can offer alternatives such as:

  • Only supervised visits shall be allowed to the addicted parent.

  • The parent who is addicted may be restricted from any overnight visits.

  • When sober, the recovering parent may be permitted to visit.

  • The parent may be sent to attend alcoholic anonymous meetings or other support group.

  • The dependent parent may have to undergo regular screenings for substances of note.

Property Division

Various other challenges can take place while divorcing an addicted person, including the division of property and support for spouses.

The court and your attorney will seek to equally and fairly divide up all the assets, but if a spouse has wasted joint funds for feeding the addiction, he/she may be penalized. Also, if the spouse with the addiction pays an unfavorable share of matrimonial property, the court can grant the other spouse additional support or alimony. However, this can be reversed should the problem of the addict be related to a medical problem, so they may cover treatment costs.

Overall, it may be particularly challenging for a spouse to divorce a drug addict or alcoholic. However, dealing with such problems is likely to be easier with an experienced family attorney in Oklahoma City, OK, in your corner.

Contact our experienced team at Handley Law Center to discuss the details of your divorce and the best ways to deal with it.