Divorce Can Get Complicated When Your Spouse Is an Addict

Divorce Can Get Complicated When Your Spouse Is an AddictWatching your spouse battle any type of addiction is certainly an unpleasant experience. You may feel overwhelming amounts of pain and heartache. However, regardless of these gut-wrenching feelings, many people often realize that leaving and divorcing their spouse is the only option they have to get themselves and their children away from the situation.

While this is a brave and courageous act, it is important to know and understand that divorcing an addicted spouse adds a thick layer of complications to the divorce process.

The different types of addiction that may end a marriage

Most people automatically think about substance abuse when they think of addictions. Although substance abuse addiction is a serious type of addiction that can quickly end a marriage, there are several others worthy of mention. Here are various types of addiction that may end a marriage:

  • Alcohol addiction
  • Substance abuse or drug addiction (marijuana, opioid, cocaine, methamphetamine, etc.)
  • Gambling addiction
  • Shopping addiction
  • Pornography addiction
  • Sex addiction
  • Video game addiction
  • Internet or social media addiction
  • Exercise addiction
  • Cosmetic surgery addiction

What is the divorce rate for addiction?

With so many different types of addictions that may play a role in divorce, it is difficult to know the exact divorce rate for addiction. However, when it comes to substance abuse or drug addiction, AddictionHelp.com points out that around seven percent of divorces are because of substance abuse addiction. In addition, the Addiction Center states that about 24 million married individuals in America are either married to someone with a substance abuse addiction or have a substance abuse addiction themselves.

How does addiction lead to divorce among married couples?

Whether you knew about your spouse’s addiction before you married them or it is something that emerged later on in the marriage, it can eventually send yours and your children’s lives into turmoil. You may constantly catch your spouse in a lie, have unexpected financial problems, feel stressed, and more. Some of the factors that spouses must deal with on a daily basis when married to an addict include:

  • Arguments, disagreements, and fights
  • Trust issues
  • Financial instability
  • Intimacy issues
  • Stress, frustration, and fear
  • Manipulation and violent abuse
  • Unstable home and addiction exposure to children

While some may question how you can leave your addicted spouse during this time, it is important to remember that only you and your family are going through this struggle. No matter how much you love and care for your spouse, addiction eventually causes severe wear and tear on a marriage. You must prioritize your and your children’s well-being and overall happiness over anyone else’s opinion.

The challenges you may face when divorcing your addicted spouse

When divorcing an addicted spouse, there are certain legal challenges you may encounter, such as:

  • Child custody and visitation: Child custody and visitation is one of the top concerns among clients who are divorcing their addicted spouses. This is because parents want to ensure that their children are safe and protected from their other parents’ addictions. However, you must have significant proof that the type of addiction that your spouse is suffering from would put your child in danger or negatively impact their wellbeing. For example, a parent who has a few alcoholic beverages per week is most likely not considered a threat or harmful to their child. However, if they are constantly drunk, passing out, and leaving their young child unattended, this can be considered a dangerous situation. Therefore, you and your lawyer will need to discuss and develop a plan for what is in the best interests of your children regarding your spouse’s addiction.
  • Alimony: Alimony can be one of the most challenging parts of divorcing an addicted spouse. The reason for this is because there is the possibility that the judge could decide that your addicted spouse needs alimony or spousal support to help them go through recovery and begin a normal life again. However, if you are dependent on your addicted spouse, you still have a chance of receiving alimony to help you rebuild your life after the divorce. Your attorney will meet with you to learn about the specifics that could affect alimony as well as help you develop a strategy to obtain the results you need and deserve.
  • Division of property and assets: Tennessee is an equitable distribution state. Therefore, when going through the divorce process, your property and assets will be divided equitably among you and your spouse. However, one of the most common issues to arise is when an addicted spouse either blatantly or secretly sells some of the marital property or assets to pay for their addiction, which can significantly affect the property and asset division process. If this is the case for you, you need a strong and aggressive divorce lawyer by your side to help you prove that this happened.
  • Leaving or planning an exit strategy: If your spouse is known to have violent outbursts or you fear for yours or your child’s safety while leaving, you may benefit from talking to a Franklin family law attorney about your options, which may include finding a shelter, obtaining a restraining order, or even asking law enforcement to do a welfare check the day that you plan to leave.

If your spouse has an addiction and you need help divorcing them, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Franklin divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler & Associates as soon as possible. Adrian H. Altshuler and his legal team have spent decades providing legal guidance to clients who want to divorce their addicted spouses but need help legally protecting themselves and their children during the complicated divorce process. To learn more about how we can assist you through this difficult time, schedule a confidential case evaluation today. Our offices can be found in Franklin, Columbia, and Brentwood. Call our office or submit our contact form today.