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Divorcing a Substance Abusing Spouse

Posted on in Divorce

Carpentersville divorce lawyer substance abuseThe decision to file for divorce is a tough one to make. The mental and emotional toll of ending a long-term relationship is stressful enough in normal cases. However, if you are married to a person who is a drug addict or alcoholic, this can make the divorce process even more difficult. Even if someone is not an addict when the marriage begins, that addiction can develop over time and lead to a number of negative changes in the relationship. People who are considering divorcing their substance abusing spouse should make sure to consider the following factors:

Grounds for Divorce

Even if your spouse’s substance abuse is one of the main reasons for the breakdown of your marriage, it is not necessary to state this when filing for divorce. In Illinois, the only acceptable grounds for divorce is “irreconcilable differences,” which means that the divorce petition only needs to say that the marriage has broken down to the point where reconciliation is not possible or is not in the family’s best interests. The substance abuse will most likely be brought up during the divorce case, but it is not used as the actual reason for divorce on the divorce petition. 

Finances

When your marriage is about to end, you need to take stock of your finances. Making sure you are able to support yourself during and after the divorce process is crucial. Depending on your situation, it may be possible to receive temporary spousal maintenance before the divorce is finalized. If your spouse is a substance abuser, money may be tight for various reasons, especially if they have difficulty keeping a job or have been spending marital funds on their addiction. It is important to protect yourself by opening up your own bank accounts or credit cards and creating a budget that will allow you to live without your spouse’s income. 

Children

If you and your spouse have children, the divorce is going to change their lives forever. Each child handles divorce differently, but having a mother or father who is a substance abuser will likely add to the difficulties your child experiences as you end your marriage. If your spouse is an addict, you will want to take steps to ensure that your child is safe while they are spending time with them. 

In most divorce cases, parental responsibilities and parenting time are split between both parents, but these matters may be complicated if one parent has issues with substance abuse. It may be beneficial to gather evidence of your spouse’s addiction and their behavior in relation to the child, since this evidence may impact the decisions made by a judge during your divorce case. You should speak with your divorce lawyer to determine what steps you can take, such as negotiating a rehabilitation clause in the divorce agreement or asking the court to restrict the other parent’s parenting time. 

Contact a Skilled Algonquin Divorce Lawyer

If your spouse is a substance abuser, this can make the divorce process more difficult than usual, which is why it is essential to have an experienced lawyer on your side. Our skilled West Dundee divorce attorney can provide you with legal guidance and advocate for your interests in your divorce case. Contact the Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II PC today at 847-428-7725 to schedule a free consultation. 

Sources:

https://www.health-street.net/blog-drug-testing/divorcing-a-drug-addict/

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+IV&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=3800000&SeqEnd=5300000

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