I’m Planning to Divorce an Addict: What Should I Know?

divorce attorneysIt goes without saying that divorce is one of the toughest times in most people’s lives. However, things are significantly complicated when one of the spouses is an addict. Addiction comes in many forms and can include alcohol, drugs, gambling, sexual behaviors, and more.

Addiction impacts everyone involved, not just the addict. This can make it especially difficult for someone to take the first concrete step towards leaving the marriage. For today’s post, we’re exploring the unique challenges faced by those trying to get a divorce from a spouse struggling with an addiction.

Codependency and Enablement

One thing that makes walking away so hard is the manner in which addiction fosters codependent behaviors. In other words, an addict’s loved ones help or enable the addict, who will often guilt trip or manipulate other parties into this. Despite the destructive nature of these behaviors, it can be difficult to break the cycle.

This is often worsened by the fact that an addict’s condition will deteriorate over time. Under the influence, they also often engage in various forms of abuse, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.

Your Children’s Safety Comes First

You should be aware that the California family laws will always agree with one thing: your children’s safety (as well as your own) comes first. It is imperative that you take the steps necessary to protect your loved ones, which can include establishing supervised or limited custody for the other parent and more.

Other measures can include regular drug testing, limitations on drug or alcohol consumption when the other parent is with the kids, and more. That said, none of these measures can be implemented until the crucial first step, which involves leaving the other person. 

Talk to A Legal Professional You can Trust

Once the decision to leave an addict has been made, things can move at alarmingly fast rates. Things can become dicey, especially if the other person responds poorly once divorce is on the table.

Before making any concrete steps, it’s important that you speak with a qualified legal professional, someone who can counsel you by prioritizing your well-being and defending your interests at all times. Leaving a spouse who is struggling with an addiction is not an easy task, but remember, you’re not alone. 

Learn more about how we at R & S Law Group can help you with all matters relating to divorce, child custody, and more! Call us today at (949) 825-5245 to schedule a free initial consultation.