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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. 

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