What do you need to know about a San Diego divorce when your spouse is an Alcoholic? What impact will this condition have upon crucial issues such as child custody and parenting time and spousal support? Is there a difference between a recovered alcoholic or substance abuser verses someone with an active challenge?
Let’s begin with the last question first. There are many people who have confronted issues of alcoholism or drug abuse and courageously worked through one or several processes to get sober and stay that way. They are working through challenges each hour, day, week or month to maintain sobriety and this will likely have little to no impact on their divorce.
For those who have a spouse who has not yet confronted the issue of alcoholism or who have “fallen off the wagon” a divorce can be an unpredictable and unnecessarily challenging process. This is especially true when children are involved. Child custody and parenting time is one of the greatest challenges in a San Diego divorce when your spouse is an Alcoholic.
The guiding principle here is “the best interests of the child(ren).” Our Courts believe it is best for each child to spend roughly equal quality time with each of their parents. The presence of alcoholism presents genuine risks and potential dangers to the safety and best interests of a child. It may be necessary to establish these issues before the Court. Criminal convictions such as a DUI, or a domestic violence offense are strong evidence. In addition, the Court should be interested in all available records and evidence such as text or email conversations, admissions of a problem or past attempts to get sober. There are definitely legal issues regarding health information privacy and other concerns which you need to thoroughly understand. Our attorneys will guide you at each step of the process.
There are other important considerations associated with a San Diego divorce when your spouse is an Alcoholic. Many alcoholics and substance abusers are actually quite functional from a “public” perspective. Unfortunately, there are walking, working, functional alcoholics in almost every profession. This will be an important issue in all aspects of your divorce including spousal support, child support, the division of community property and the division of retirement accounts, plans and assets.
The greatest challenge in these cases is the unpredictability of how your former spouse will choose to conduct themselves. Will they attempt to manipulate or reduce their ability to earn an income? Will abuse escalate based upon the situation at hand?
There are proven strategies to establish the genuine facts before the Court, protect the best interests of your child(ren) and move the process forward. An “Addiction Expert” and other experts are often called in to evaluate the situation and make recommendations to the Court. The best way to serve the interests of all involved is to get the genuine facts before the Court so our Judges can weigh the matter and render just decisions.
If you are considering a San Diego divorce when your spouse is an Alcoholic you need the experienced, proven Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq. Learn more about how the process will work and the steps required to protect all involved. Protect your own interests and contact us or call 760-434-3330 to schedule an appointment for a remote or socially distanced consultation with one of our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists.