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Substance Abuse and Divorce

Posted on January 31, 2018

A substance abuse issue can severely impact a relationship and could even be the primary cause of a divorce or separation.

Someone who has become an addict may take on a vastly different personality and become completely impossible to trust or rely on. They may also be very defensive about their problems–or not even realize the repercussions of their actions at all.

If you are in a relationship where your partner has fallen into a dependency on narcotics, alcohol or other harmful substances, you may need to begin exploring your legal options for initiating a separation, or marriage contract for that matter, to protect yourself from potential legal perils in the future.

A drug user going through a divorce because of their substance abuseTalk to a Lawyer

The first step is to consult with a local lawyer and get their advice on how to best handle the situation. It may be necessary to devote time to coming up with a plan and gathering evidence about the substance abuse issues in order to better represent your case in court or during the settlement.

Be open and honest with your lawyer about the situation. They will have the experience to give helpful legal advice that can prove to be invaluable in the coming days, weeks and months.

Consider finding outside help

Depending on their level of dependency, your partner may become confrontational, or simply lapse in denial after you bring forth your allegations and intentions to separate or modify the terms of your relationship. If they are honestly willing to clean up their life, it may be helpful to have an outside specialist, counselor or therapist become involved who can give them help.

Unfortunately, it is also possible that your partner could refuse help, in which case it is better to seek legal help and maybe even explore ways to guarantee your safety in the long-term, such as a restraining order.

What to do if children are involved

If there are any children in the family, it will likely be a concern to prevent the substance abuser from having access to them, at least until they deal with their issues. Having the evidence to prove that substance abuse has played a role in unravelling the relationship will be a vital part of getting a favourable decision on visitation and custody for the long term.

If you, or anyone you know, is dealing with marriage issues related to substance abuse, contact Epstein & Associates for a free, no-obligation consultation so we can identify necessary steps to take.


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