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3 ways substance abuse affects divorce

Various factors likely contribute to the end of your marriage. Every circumstance is unique, but one aspect that may play a huge role in your divorce is substance abuse. Drug or alcohol addiction is detrimental to relationships. Not only does abuse of alcohol and drugs cause divorce, but it can also impact the divorce process.

If substance abuse is a factor in the dissolution of your marriage, how will it affect your divorce? Read below to learn how addiction may influence the outcome of your separation.

1. Child custody

One of the main ways that substance abuse impacts divorce is in child custody proceedings. Custody is almost always the most contentious aspect of any divorce and addiction only adds to the complications. The court will make decisions regarding what is in the best interest of your child.

The worse the situation is, the harsher the consequences will be. For example, if one of you has a severe addiction that endangers your child, the other parent may get sole custody. However, the judge may give the addicted parent visitation in exchange for attending rehabilitation.

2. Property division

Drug or alcohol abuse may also impact the process of splitting assets because a person with an addiction may spend carelessly. If the spouse who abuses drugs or alcohol has a history of spending marital assets to feed his or her addiction, the court may award more assets to compensate the other spouse.

3. Spousal support

Substance problems may affect alimony in a similar way it impacts property division. If one spouse negatively impacts the finances of a marital estate, the judge may order alimony to make it up to the non-abusing spouse. 

Dealing with divorce and addiction is never easy. Both of these issues are difficult to handle on their own, so when they mix, it may feel like something that is impossible to figure out. Make sure you get help from an attorney to help you through these problems.

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