An addiction to drugs or alcohol can destroy many aspects of a person’s life. Health, finances and personal relationships may all suffer while someone struggles with substance abuse issues. Among those personal relationships that suffer, a marriage is bound to be one of them.
If your spouse has an addiction for which he or she is unable or unwilling to seek treatment, you may have decided you are through with trying to pick up the pieces again and again. You may want nothing more than a normal, predictable life, and the path you have chosen to achieve your goal is divorce. However, you should recognize some of the complications you may face when divorcing someone with an addiction.
Preparing for complications
Texas is a no-fault state, but you have the option of pursuing a fault-based divorce. Either way, you will likely be facing many difficult decisions, such as whether to seek spousal support and whether you want to fight to prevent your spouse from obtaining any custody of the children. However, if you choose to file for divorce under fault, you will need to present the court with evidence that your spouse’s addiction brought about the end of your marriage. This may include any of the following:
- Proof that your spouse has a long-term addiction for which he or she has not sought treatment or treatment has been unsuccessful
- Examples of how the addiction eroded your marriage
- Evidence that your spouse is abusive to you or the children, if applicable
- Examples of times when your spouse endangered you or the children while impaired
- Proof that your spouse used marital funds to support his or her addiction
Along with your attorney, you will want to carefully consider the most advantageous way to pursue divorce. Undoubtedly, you and your children have already endured the strain of living with an addict, and you certainly do not want to further that anxiety. However, it is possible that your spouse will want to fight the divorce, especially if it places his or her custody rights on the line.
Working with an attorney can be invaluable in such a volatile situation. When dealing with someone who struggles with substance abuse issues, you must protect your safety and well-being. Doing so may mean considering the benefits of a protective order and understanding ways to legally protect your finances and other assets. Your attorney can guide you in making the decisions that could help lead you toward a more positive future.