How Addiction Affects Divorce

How Addiction Affects Divorce

Addiction is one of the hardest things for any individual to overcome and when it impacts your marriage, unfortunately, it frequently leads to divorce. Addiction can take many forms including alcohol, illegal drug addiction, prescription drug addiction, gambling addiction, sex addiction, and more. When a spouse has reached the limits of their ability to stay in a marriage to someone with addiction, the next step is divorce, but divorcing someone with an addiction frequently adds another layer of complexity to the divorce process.

It is important to first note that most states, including Arizona, are what are known as ’no fault’ divorce states which means that no wrongdoing must be shown as a reason for divorce and for the most part someone will not be provided special privileges because of their spouse’s wrongdoing. However, when dealing with addiction it is important that addiction may influence things like child custody and possibly even division of assets.

When children are involved and the addicted spouse wants partial custody or visitation, they may be only be granted limited access to the children and be required to undergo drug testing, treatment, counseling, or other requirements until they can show that their addiction is not threatening the health and safety of their children. If you are considering divorcing a spouse that struggles with addiction, keep as many records and photographs of any evidence of addiction possible and speak to an experienced mediator right away to discuss safe and effective ways to begin the process.

How addiction affects a marriage?

There are 24 million individuals who are in marriage with addiction problems. This habit could affect their marriage in many ways. It gradually erodes the very foundation of a matrimony by destroying trust and confidence among partners.

Loss of trust

First, individuals who excessively consume alcohol or drugs tend to lie to their spouses. The loss of trust varies based on the severity of their addictions. They may steal money and change behaviors drastically. Overtime, these changes will break the foundation of trust, which is essential to remain in matrimony.

Financial burden

Addicted individuals will fall behind their schedules and appointments. These imperfections may affect their employment. The financial consequences of losing a job could prove disastrous especially if a child is involved. After losing jobs, one may resort to petty crimes and theft as a way to pay their debts.


People addicted to alcohol or drugs will behave dangerously with their spouses. Studies show that there is a correlation between addiction and domestic violence. Alcoholism affects a marriage and endangers the lives of children. Domestic violence makes the partners overwhelmed, as they are caring for them as well.

How to divorce an addicted partner?

Find a lawyer

The first step should involve finding trustworthy divorce attorneys. Make sure to hire experienced lawyers for legal counsel, especially for cases involving domestic violence. These family lawyers are well-versed in explaining the situations during divorce hearings. They even provide a safe strategy to protect children, ensuring financial and emotional security. Experienced attorneys will walk through the complex aspects of the proceeding. The communication is necessary between partners when there are criminal records related to alcohol use.

Arrange child custody

Getting divorce with addictions may affect the court decisions on custody arrangements and visitation rights. Individuals with the history of criminal behaviors are generally avoided child custody because they affect the growth and development of children. Hence, it is essential to participate in recovery programs and rehabs to ensure sobriety commitment. As for the other partner, they should make preparations for custody arrangements. As cited before, some kinds of drugs make one reckless and hostile. They may exhibit violent behavior towards children. Family lawyers understand the significance of seeking prompt emergency child custody. They get a restraining order to protect kids from getting into the hands of an addicted partner.

Plan arrangement

The environment is never safe when living with addicted partners. Since divorce is a time-sensitive issue, one should immediately make arrangements for new living space. However, it is not an easy task. People need to plan the best living arrangements that is ideal for the growth and development of their kids. Moreover, they can make use of available community support services. Other factors in choosing living conditions involves the custody outcomes. It is essential to work worth with experienced attorneys to find the best solutions for their specific situation and needs.