How Divorce Works for People with Alcohol Issues

Divorce can be an emotionally and mentally taxing process, even under the best of circumstances. When one or both spouses are struggling with alcohol addiction, the challenges can be amplified significantly.

When alcohol addiction is present in a marriage, it can lead to a host of problems, including financial strain, domestic violence, infidelity, and the breakdown of communication and trust. These issues can make the divorce process even more complicated and contentious.

However, if you have struggled with alcohol issues in the past, you still have rights that should be honored during the divorce process. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can navigate a divorce despite past alcohol issues.

The Impact of Alcohol Issues on the Divorce Process

Alcohol addiction can have a profound impact on the divorce process. Spouses dealing with alcohol abuse may struggle to make rational, well-informed decisions during the proceedings.

They may also be less likely to engage in productive negotiations or compromise, leading to drawn-out and acrimonious battles over issues like property division, child custody, and alimony.

Moreover, the emotional turmoil and stress of divorce can exacerbate alcohol addiction, causing the affected spouse to turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism. This can create a vicious cycle, where the alcohol abuse fuels the divorce proceedings, and the divorce proceedings, in turn, fuel the alcohol abuse.

Legal Considerations for Divorcing Spouses Dealing with Alcohol Addiction

When alcohol addiction is a factor in a divorce, there are several important legal considerations to keep in mind. For example, the court may need to address issues such as:

  • Asset division: The court may need to determine how alcohol-related financial issues, such as debt or mismanagement of assets, should be handled during the property division process.
  • Spousal support: The court may need to consider the impact of alcohol addiction on a spouse’s ability to be self-sufficient and may adjust spousal support accordingly.
  • Child custody and visitation: The court will likely prioritize the well-being of any children involved and may place restrictions on the alcohol-addicted spouse’s custody or visitation rights.
  • Rehabilitation and treatment: The court may order the alcohol-addicted spouse to undergo addiction treatment or counseling as a condition of the divorce decree.

Child Custody and Alcohol Addiction in Divorce Cases

When children are involved in a divorce where alcohol addiction is a factor, the court’s primary concern is the well-being and safety of the children. The court may take several steps to protect the children, such as:

  • Ordering the alcohol-addicted spouse to undergo a comprehensive evaluation by a mental health or addiction professional
  • Granting the non-addicted spouse primary physical custody, with the addicted spouse having limited or supervised visitation rights
  • Requiring the addicted spouse to participate in a substance abuse treatment program or support group as a condition of visitation or custody
  • Requiring the addicted spouse to take regular testing/alcohol monitoring using soberlink
  • Appointing a guardian ad litem or child representative to advocate for the children’s best interests throughout the divorce proceedings

The court’s goal is to ensure that the children’s physical, emotional, and psychological needs are met, even in the face of a parent’s alcohol addiction.

Seeking Professional Help for Alcohol Addiction During Divorce

If you or your spouse is struggling with alcohol addiction, it’s crucial to seek professional help during the divorce process.

This may involve entering an inpatient or outpatient treatment program, participating in individual or group therapy, or engaging in a comprehensive addiction recovery plan.

Addressing the alcohol addiction head-on can have several benefits, including:

  • Improving your ability to make rational, well-informed decisions during the divorce proceedings
  • Reducing the emotional and psychological stress that can exacerbate the addiction
  • Demonstrating to the court your commitment to your recovery and your children’s well-being
  • Increasing the chances of a more amicable and constructive divorce process

Working with a qualified addiction treatment provider can be a crucial step in navigating the complexities of divorce while dealing with alcohol abuse.

Seeking Professional Help for Alcohol Addiction During Divorce

If you’ve struggled with alcohol addiction during your marriage, it’s essential to take proactive steps to address the issue and demonstrate your commitment to recovery.

Here are some key strategies to consider:

  • Seek Treatment and Maintain Sobriety: Entering a comprehensive alcohol treatment program and maintaining your sobriety can be a powerful demonstration of your willingness to address the problem. This can show the court that you are responsible for your actions and committed to making positive changes.
  • Establish a Strong Support System: Surround yourself with a network of supportive family members, friends, and professionals who can provide guidance and accountability during divorce. This can include therapists, support group members, and even a sober living coach.
  • Gather Relevant Documentation: Compile any documentation that can demonstrate your progress in recovery, such as attendance records from support group meetings, letters from your therapist or counselor, and any other evidence of your commitment to sobriety.
  • Be Transparent and Cooperative: Honesty and transparency with your family law attorney and the court can go a long way in building trust and credibility. Be upfront about your alcohol addiction and your efforts to address it, and cooperate fully with any requests for information or documentation.
  • Prioritize Your Children’s Well-Being: If you have children, prioritize their best interests. Demonstrate your ability to provide a stable, sober environment and your commitment to being a responsible, present parent.

Contact Us for a Case Evaluation

If you’ve dealt with alcohol issues before, it doesn’t mean you can’t secure equitable terms in your divorce decree. If you hire an experienced divorce attorney, with experience representing clients with alcohol addiction, who can fight for fair treatment in areas, such as asset division and child custody.

The legal team at Martino Law Group is here to help you. Contact us today to receive a case evaluation.