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Divorce Options for Spouses of Substance Abusers

Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton Divorce AttorneySubstance abuse is an enormous social problem almost everywhere in the country. The large proportion of Americans who struggle with substance abuse means that illicit drugs are widely available and easily accessible. Many people are able to recover from addiction and go on to have normal, productive lives. However, if your spouse is addicted to drugs and has not put forth the effort to get clean, you may find that your marriage has become more of a burden than a boon. You are not obligated to stay and continue trying to take care of a person who will not do the work needed to take care of themselves. Divorce may be the best option for protecting yourself and any children involved. Unfortunately, getting a divorce from a substance abuser can be difficult. It is important to have skilled legal representation as you begin the often-difficult task of divorcing your addicted spouse. 

Options for Divorce From a Drug-Addicted Spouse

There are numerous laws in place designed to protect both spouses and children of drug addicts during a divorce. Options you may have could include: 

  • Alleging dissipation - Drug addicts can spend a lot of money very quickly. Supporting an addiction is not cheap. If your spouse has taken marital funds and spent them on drugs without your cooperation, you may be able to recover your share of the wasted funds.

  • Attorney-facilitated negotiation - Divorce mediation may not be helpful if your spouse is a drug addict. First, there is a strong chance that they may take advantage of any time you spend together in order to try to manipulate you into staying. Additionally, a person who is addicted to drugs may fail to keep mediation appointments or arrive too intoxicated to meaningfully participate. It may be better to allow your attorney to negotiate with your spouse’s attorney. 

  • Supervised visitation - Even when one spouse has a substance abuse problem, courts are reluctant to prevent them from spending any time at all with their child. However, visiting the drug-addicted parent in their home may not be safe for children. Instead, the court may order your spouse to visit their children only with supervision. 

  • Reconciliation calendar - It is common for people to begin the divorce process and then have second thoughts after their spouse makes lofty promises to get clean and stay clean. If you want to give your spouse this chance, you can “pause” your divorce rather than calling it off entirely. Then, if your spouse disappoints you, you can essentially pick up the divorce where you left off. 

Divorcing someone with a substance abuse problem can be challenging, but it may be less challenging than staying in the marriage in the long run. 

Contact a Wheaton Divorce Lawyer

Goostree Law Group is committed to helping spouses of substance abusers get the divorce they need to start a better life. Our caring Wheaton divorce attorneys will do all we can to protect you and your children during the process. Call us at 630-364-4046 for a complimentary consultation. 




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