The Difficulty Involved in Divorcing an Addict
Divorce is never easy, but if your spouse is an addict, it makes the entire process that much more difficult. Further, the stress of divorce can leave addicts leaning even more heavily on their addictions. If you are divorcing an addict or alcoholic, you need the professional legal counsel of an experienced Forsyth County divorce attorney on your side.
Coping with Addiction
Addicts tend to take their pain out on those they’re closest to, and this often translates to their spouses and children. While it’s hard to imagine what could make a divorce more painful and difficult, it's safe to say that addiction can. The most important point to keep in mind as you move forward toward divorce is that carving out the time and space to take care of yourself and protect your children from the fallout along the way is paramount.
Georgia is a no-fault divorce state, which means that your divorce need not be predicated on the fault of either spouse. Nevertheless, fault can play a role in your divorce – even if you’re not seeking a fault-based divorce. If you can prove your spouse’s addiction and the role it played in your divorce, the court is likely to take this into consideration in the determination of your divorce terms. Further, if the court finds that your spouse’s addiction puts your children at risk, this will be factored into your child custody arrangements.
The Court’s Options
If your divorcing spouse is suffering from an active addiction that the court deems unhealthy for your shared children, it’s unlikely to grant joint custody. The court’s overriding philosophy, however, is that children are best served when they are able to spend time with both parents, and toward this end, it has the following options:
- The court may allow your ex to have visitation when he or she is sober.
- The court may determine that your ex’s visitation with your shared children must be supervised.
- The court may require your ex to submit to random or regularly scheduled drug and/or alcohol screenings in order to maintain visitation rights.
- The court may require your ex to go to rehab and/or to attend AA, NA, or another kind of support group in order to maintain visitation rights.
- The court may require your ex to submit to a breath test (or another kind of screening) before and after visitations with your shared children.
The court is motivated to foster the ongoing relationship between both parents and their children, but it also must be careful not to put children in harm’s way.
Seek the Counsel of an Experienced Cumming Divorce Attorney
If you’re divorcing an addict or alcoholic, you can expect an even more difficult path forward, but the compassionate divorce attorneys at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland – proudly serving both Forsyth County and Cumming – can help. Our dedicated legal team understands the delicate nature of your position and is committed to protecting you and your children’s best interests throughout the process. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 770-887-1209 today.