Divorce can be challenging for a number of reasons. You might struggle with the thought of living off your own wage once your marriage is dissolved, or you might be concerned about how a child custody dispute will affect your time and relationship with your child.
While there are steps that you can take to try to protect your interests and your child’s well-being when addressing these legal issues, the process can still be more challenging than you expect. This may be especially true when your spouse is battling a substance abuse addiction.
How substance abuse can make a divorce more difficult
Your spouse’s substance abuse issue can be problematic for a number of reasons. For example, your spouse might struggle with dishonesty, which can make it hard to have an open and honest conversation with him or her during settlement negotiations. But there are other difficulties that you might face, too.
For example, a parent’s substance abuse can make it tricky to figure out what sort of child custody and visitation arrangement is best for your kid. You might want your child to have access to and a relationship with the other parent, but the other parent’s intoxicated state can pose a threat to your child’s physical, emotional, and psychological well-being.
Your spouse’s addiction can put you in an impossible position where regardless of the approach you take your child might be harmed in some way.
Another component of divorces involving someone struggling with addiction is mental instability. Many people who are battling an addiction are also dealing with a mental health issue. This means that they may be irrational, and they can experience mood swings that change their behavior seemingly in the blink of an eye.
This can make it nearly impossible for you to make progress in your divorce case.
How to prove addiction issues in your divorce
One way to cut through the problems posed by spousal substance abuse is to present evidence to the court that shows that your spouse is, in fact, amidst an addiction. Successfully doing so can put you in a better position to take charge of the child custody arrangement and other important divorce legal issues.
But how do you prove that your spouse is dealing with an addiction, especially when he or she denies it? There are many ways you can approach this issue.
For example, you could gather pertinent records, such as police reports, criminal histories, and medical records. You might also be able to gather witness accounts from people who know your spouse well.
But even if you present that evidence, you’re still in a position of having to show how the addiction is relevant to the issues before the court. This is where you may benefit from having an expert on addictions testify on your behalf.
This individual might be able to speak to how addiction could affect your child’s safety and stability, and they may also be able to demonstrate how the addiction has impacted the spouse’s ability to work and therefore pay child and spousal support.
Do you need a helping hand in your divorce?
You’re dealing with a lot right now as you head towards marriage dissolution. Don’t let your spouse’s addiction push you over the edge or force you to rush to a settlement that isn’t right for you and your child.