The pandemic has taken an already epidemic substance abuse situation and made things far worse. When you want to divorce a person addicted to drugs or alcohol, you may need to do things a bit differently. Read on and find out more.
Are You Safe?
Fear can be a powerful motivator and substance abuse can cause fear to surface in even the soundest of marriages. Rather than allowing fear to dictate to you, use it to be careful about things for the sake of you and your children. While all divorces can involve some degree of mistrust, substance abuse can turn someone you thought you knew into a stranger capable of things you would never have imagined. If you intend to leave the marriage and seek a divorce, take these steps:
- Put away money in a safe place. Substance abusers will empty your accounts and leave you with nothing.
- Prepare to leave by finding a safe place to go and deciding to leave quickly if you need to.
- Do not leave your children in the home with a substance abuser. They may not be safe there and they need to be away from the situation so that they cannot be used as pawns.
- You may need legal protection against your spouse if they have threatened you or your children. Speak to a family law attorney about seeking orders of protection against your spouse. Your spouse may be forced to leave the family home while the order is in force.
Say No to No-fault Divorce
All states give divorcing couples the option to do so without naming a reason. However, with a spouse who is addicted to a substance, you might want to reconsider and name grounds for the divorce. Doing so can help protect your rights to assets, child custody, and debts divisions. If your spouse has already created financial problems, you can gain some degree of protection against that continued drain on your financial resources. The judge can order your spouse to stop using joint financial resources and more.
Protect Your Children
You may need to have your divorce lawyer ask the judge to impose supervised visitation only for your spouse. That protects your children from riding with an intoxicated parent and from the poor parenting decisions that go along with being under the influence of something.
Don't assume you are powerless over the effects of substance abuse on your life. While you cannot make your spouse better, you can protect yourself and your children in many ways. Speak to a divorce lawyer to find out more.