Divorcing a drug addict

Posted on: 25 January 2017

Married persons who are struggling with drug addiction don't suffer alone. The adverse effects of drug and alcohol addiction tend to permeate into every aspect of the life of the addict, and especially those closest to them are normally hit hard. Over time, the damaging nature of addiction may lead to irreconcilable differences between a married couple and divorce becomes the only viable way forward. With the help of an experienced divorce lawyer, you can break free from the route of ruin brought upon you by your drug addicted spouse. Here are a few tips for those thinking about divorce because of the family problems that stem from substance abuse.

Make the step to let go

The hardest part is always making your mind to end your marriage. Of course, you are likely to feel as if you're deserting your spouse or that if you're patient enough, they might actually change their ways. Unfortunately, though, love isn't enough to rescue your spouse from the trap of addiction. Divorce simply means you have opted not to allow your partner's addiction to destroy your life or the children's lives.

Domestic abuse

Sadly, physical and psychological abuse often accompanies substance addiction. People under the influence of alcohol and drugs tend to be more aggressive and destructive in respect to their behaviour and may not be conscious of it or even recall such actions. However, this is no excuse. If you are the victim of domestic abuse, consult with your lawyer about the possibility of filing for a restraining order to protect yourself as well as your kids from continued harm.

Asset protection

It's no coincidence that families struggling with substance addiction often undergo tough financial situations. You shouldn't allow your partner's addiction to continue exhausting your marital assets. An attorney can advise you on the right steps to safeguard your financial future. At the moment, start to collect and make copies of financial documents and other relevant paperwork. Additionally, you should think about separating your financial accounts.

Legal and social support

It's typical for the partner of an addict to try to conceal their family tribulations from the external world, whether arising from loyalty, fear or shame of being flooded with unwelcomed advice. However, once you decide to terminate your marriage and begin a new life, you definitely need social and legal support. Confide in a trusted confidant, or join a support group focused on substance addiction matters. Moreover, speak to a divorce attorney to guide you all through the divorce process.