Divorcing a Spouse with an Alcohol or Drug Problem
Millions of Americans suffer from alcohol and drug abuse. One of the hardest things may be to sit back and watch your spouse fight with addiction. Divorces are never really that easy, and when one spouse has a serious alcohol or drug problem, the divorce quickly becomes more about health and safety.
The whole family, particularly the younger children, can be destructively impacted in the substance abuse related divorce. Alcohol and drug problems put pressure on everyone around the addict, whether it is friends or family. If your spouse is an addict and you do not feel like you can handle him or her anymore, you should learn more about how the substance abuse issues can impact your divorce.
Alcohol and Drug Problems Lead to More Divorces
Clearly, alcohol and drug problems often mix with divorce. Studies have demonstrated that approximately half of all married couples with a drug or alcohol problem end up getting divorced. A spouse’s substance abuse problems may make him or her completely intolerable to live with. Often times divorce may be the best decision, as well as the safest option, for you and your children.
Custody of the Children
Addiction has a huge effect on decisions related to child custody. Although Florida law gives preferential treatment to shared parental responsibility, the best interests of the children are always considered first.
The judge studies the gravity of the whole situation to determine if there is a pattern of behavior that might pose any harm to the children. The children’s potential to be subjected to the alcohol or drug use of the parent is often enough to determine that the children could be harmed.
Thus, if the court believes that shared custody could be negative on the children, the judge may award sole custody to the non-addicted parent. Ultimately, the court must examine all of the factors to determine what is in the best interests of the children. The court has a number of other options, regarding custody, including ordering supervised visitations.
In the State of Florida, at the time of a divorce, all marital property is typically split based on equitable distribution. Nevertheless, the judge may not distribute all marital properly equally, if it is unfair based on the circumstances of the marriage and both parties. The judge will examine a spouse’s use of marital property two years before filing for the divorce.
For example, in cases where the alcohol or drug addicted spouse took away money from the marriage to waste on alcohol or drugs. Any proof of the spouse using money to buy alcohol or drugs, will most likely influence the judge’s decision to give the other spouse more of the existing assets.
Don’t Hesitate to Contact a Skilled Divorce Attorney
The Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee are here to advise you on the best way to proceed with your divorce. We will passionately and aggressively represent you through every phase of the divorce including property distribution, spousal support, and child custody.
Since both divorces and child custody can be difficult and daunting, we suggest contacting an attorney today. It is crucial that you choose an experienced attorney to provide the best possible representation.
The Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee are here to assist you. You can count on our qualified Orlando divorce attorneys to do whatever it takes to make sure that the court decides in the best interests of your children. Call today at 407-521-7171 or contact us online to discuss your divorce and child custody options further.