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The Process of Divorcing an Addict or Alcoholic

Divorce itself is a stressful process, but your spouse can make it more difficult if they are an addict or alcoholic. This addiction may be the reason for the divorce, or a habit the just took up when the divorce process started. It could be an alcohol addiction prescription or illegal drugs. Whatever the case is, going through a divorce with a spouse dealing with addiction can be challenging.

A person dealing with an addiction is usually difficult to interact with and in the case of a divorce proceeding, can make the entire process even more frustrating. Although a family practice in Altamonte Springs can help you, to further make things easier for yourself, it makes sense that you know all you can about handling situations like this.

Initiating the Process

Legally, addiction is not a ground for divorce in Florida because it is a no-fault state. So, the fact that your spouse is an addict does not necessarily have to be the reason for the divorce. However, their addiction will no doubt affect the divorce process. Addicts are either unstable, unreliable or even dangerous, and this can affect the court’s decision on child custody and other privileges they may be entitled to if the divorce pulls through.

If there is solid proof that a person is an addict either through evidence that they have been in a rehabilitation facility before, through drug tests or criminal records, it will affect them in the divorce proceedings. The court will be hesitant to grant them certain privileges. For you to know how your case will go, you have to work with a family law practice in Altamonte Springs that has worked on divorce cases involving addicts in the past.

Child Custody

If one of a married couple is suffering from addiction and they have children, the court will have to ensure that the parents are fit to raise and take care of the children. The judge will consider how capable each of the parents is mentally and financially are, to see the best custody arrangement for the child. If one parent is suffering from addiction, it may affect the child custody arrangement. For example, an alcoholic may not be a good candidate for joint custody to avoid putting the child in danger. Thus, the court will arrange other alternatives for the parents to see and spent time with their child.

Some of the alternatives are highlighted below;

  • Visitation rights only when the addicted parent is sober or clean.
  • Supervised visitation for the addicted parent.
  • Random alcohol and drug screening from time to time.
  • No overnight visits.
  • Enrol in a rehabilitation facility or join support groups.

In cases where the parent’s addiction has brought harm to the child, the court may revoke entirely any rights the parent is supposed to have.

Spousal Support

If the addicted spouse has spent part of the marital assets unfairly, they will be penalized during assets division or be asked to pay more spousal support. If their addiction problem is, however, a mental health problem, they may receive more financial support to help with treatment. Divorcing a spouse dealing with addiction can be stressful, and you need an experienced family law practice in Altamonte Springs. Contact us today at Frank Family Law.