Located and practicing in Martinsburg and throughout Eastern West Virginia
Located and practicing in Martinsburg and throughout Eastern West Virginia

How your addiction and substance abuse may impact your divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2019 | Firm News

Substance abuse and addiction can impact every aspect of your life, including your family. If you have a current or prior problem with substance use, this may be one contributing factor to your divorce.

Drug and alcohol problems may affect many aspects of your divorce, including child custody, spousal support and property division. Here is an explanation of how this issue may play a role in your split and what you can do about it.

Child custody

The family court makes custody decisions based on what it determines is best for your child. If you are currently struggling with addiction or facing criminal charges, the court may not see you as being in a position to ensure you can protect and nurture your child. You may face challenges getting custody or a substantial amount of visitation. 

In order to prove you are a fit parent, you may consider entering a rehabilitation treatment center. If you can demonstrate that you can maintain sober and be there for your children, the court may take a more favorable approach to you.

Spousal support

Family-court judges may see it as risky to award spousal support to someone who is struggling with substance abuse. A court may decide to refuse to give alimony to a spouse who is financially dependent in order to prevent the spouse from feeling enabled to continue abusing substances. Sometimes, the court may order the addicted spouse to pay alimony to the other spouse.

Property division

Dividing money and assets is a core process of divorcing. Public allegations of substance abuse may harm your reputation and career and may even result in criminal proceedings. This may cause you to be hesitant to argue for a fair settlement. However, you should still fight for your fair share of assets no matter what challenges you are facing. 

Going through a divorce while recovering from addiction can be hard, but you can do it with the right help.