Substance abuse can wreak havoc on any type of relationship, especially in a marriage. When one spouse is an addict, it can tear a family apart and even put you and your children at risk of emotional and physical harm. Many people decide to file for divorce from an addict who seems like they will not get help. Unfortunately, you still have a long and complicated road ahead of you, as divorcing an addict can have its own challenges.
When someone is constantly abusing alcohol and/or drugs, they are usually under the influence and not thinking or reacting clearly. This can lead to unpredictable behavior and, often, volatile behavior. Substances can induce someone to change their mind on a regular basis, think irrationally, or even forget what they agreed to. This can make it extremely difficult to nail down terms of your divorce, and it may be necessary to get the court involved. This can cost more in time, stress, and money than a divorce in which both spouses agree on the major issues.
Not only can addicts be difficult to discuss important issues with, but they can also act irresponsibly. They may miss appointments or even court hearings, which can result in ongoing delays. When you are heading into a divorce from a substance abuser, you need to be prepared for unexpected and frustrating situations.
In today’s society, most courts want to award joint custody to parents whenever possible. This is because it is presumed that maintaining relationships with both parents is in the child’s best interests. However, this only applies to healthy relationships and, sometimes, a relationship with an addicted parent can cause more harm than good.
When you believe that your spouse’s substance abuse problem may put your child in danger in any way, it is important that you fight for primary custody of your child. In some cases, it may not even be appropriate for the addict parent to have unsupervised visitation, and you may need to ask the court to order supervised visits. Not surprisingly, seeking full custody of your child can incite a highly contentious custody battle, as your spouse will likely fight for the right to parenting time. This may result in you having to prove their substance abuse in open court, which can be a highly unpleasant experience.
Contact an Experienced Fort Worth Divorce Lawyer for the Support You Need
There are many other complications in a divorce case involving an addict, including possible wasted assets and more. While you should have the right legal assistance in any divorce, you especially need the right help when you are divorcing someone with substance abuse problems. The Law Office of J. Kevin Clark P.C. helps people in all different types of situations navigate the divorce process in Fort Worth. Call our office today or contact us online.