“Divorce an alcoholic” or divorcing an alcoholic wife/husband is the topic today! Going through a divorce is emotionally tough for anybody, but it may be the best decision for those married to an alcoholic. Those who have divorced their spouses say they feel better because they don’t have to deal with an addict any longer.
If you are suffering and want to divorce an alcoholic spouse, here are some things to consider: 1) always contact an experienced divorce lawyer; and 2) know your rights.
Signs of An Alcoholic Person
When divorce is being contemplated, it’s important to recognize some of the common signs of an alcoholic:
1) Drinking too much or drinking at inappropriate times.
2) Denying that they have a problem or refusing to seek help for their alcoholism.
3) Becoming defensive when questioned about their drinking habits.
4) Neglecting family responsibilities.
5) Spending a lot of money on alcohol and drinking-related activities.
6) Displaying signs of withdrawal or physical dependence when unable to access alcohol.
Related Information of Alcohol Addiction
People may have different opinions of alcoholism, but countless medical and mental health professionals deem it as an illness. It is believed that both genetics and environmental factors are responsible for the development of this disease in every individual.
It’s no surprise that alcoholism is quite often hard to comprehend, even for the alcoholic themselves. Many of us erroneously assume there’s a moral issue involved or it could be attributed to bad decisions.
One key reason why those with alcohol addiction hesitate in getting help is because of their self-defeating thoughts – such as “if only I had more willpower and discipline, then drinking wouldn’t be a problem”. However, these thoughts usually dissipate from the very first sip of alcohol, thus triggering another round of harmful dependency.
Furthermore, alcoholics may have issues getting along with their bosses, caring for their loved ones, or following the law. Unfortunately, some of them become aggressive and violent both verbally and physically. This is one of top reasons leading to divorce an alcoholic, it can be divorcing an alcoholic wife or a husband.
Even when alcoholics are sober, they may still have trouble and become more unpredictable. That’s why having an alcoholic spouse is rarely if not ever solved- even when the alcoholic quits drinking.
Alcoholism affects not only the person that consumes it, but also those around them. Your partner’s heavy drinking may be distressing your kids and other individuals in your closest circle. In fact, many times a child of an alcoholic will mistakenly believe they are partly to blame for their parent’s lack of affection towards them.
Alcohol Abuse and Family Law
As substance abuse is often closely scrutinized by family courts during divorce proceedings, if your spouse is an alcoholic the court may order random alcohol testing – even if they are seeking treatment. Additionally, any Adverse actions taken by your spouse may be used against them in decisions related to custody arrangements.
If you live in a state with no-fault divorce laws, filing for a fault-based divorce may still be possible if your spouse has been emotionally or physically abusing you.
Additionally, if your spouse is an alcoholic and has been convicted of crimes relating to their addiction, they may not be entitled to certain privileges in the eyes of the court.
Staying Safe During the Divorce
Since you are currently living with an alcoholic spouse, both of your emotions will more than likely be heightened during the divorce process, raising the potential for any altercation to become physical.
If you or your children are not safe because of your spouse’s alcoholism, then you should tell your divorce attorney. They can bring this up in family court when you file for divorce.
A restraining order or an order of protection handed down by the family court may forbid your alcoholic spouse from harassing you, wasting marital funds, or destroying property while your divorce is pending.
If There Are Children Involved
When you decide to divorce an alcoholic spouse, divorcing an alcoholic wife or husband, child custody will become a key issue. Courts want what is in the best interest of the children when making any decisions.
If it is an extreme case, the safety of your child could be threatened if they were to stay with your spouse because of their alcoholism. You should discuss with your attorney what type of custody would be best for them moving forward.
If a court is taking into consideration a parent’s alcohol use and/or abuse issues, they might require additional supporting evidence of your spouse’s alcoholic behavior. This could be in the form of police reports, child protective service reports, testimonies from public agencies or nonprofit organizations, or reports from public agencies. In some cases, your divorce attorney may hire a substance abuse expert who can provide testimony to the court.
Evaluator for Child Custody
A child custody evaluator will interview you, your spouse, and your child or children if you are concerned about their safety when they are with your alcoholic spouse. They could even request to observe any interaction between your child, you, and your spouse. In addition, they may choose to interview professionals such as teachers who have had interactions with your child.
After the observations and interviews are completed, the evaluator will compile a report with custody recommendations to present in court.
Note that not every divorce case involving an alcoholic spouse will have a child custody evaluator appointed–this is something you should discuss with your divorce attorney.
Custody with a Parent Who is an Alcoholic
The court system takes alcohol abuse very seriously, especially when it comes to child custody arrangements. If you believe that your partner is an alcoholic and this could affect their ability to make the best decisions for your children, seeking legal counsel from a qualified divorce attorney should be top priority. A lawyer can help present evidence and argue on behalf of what’s in the best interest of your kids—including safeguarding them against an alcoholic parent if required.
If your spouse is an alcoholic or has other substance abuse problems and it negatively impacts their ability to care for your child, many courts can offer an alternative solution so the child can continue to see both you and your spouse. These alternatives include:
- The spouse with an alcohol problem may be allowed to see their child only when they are not intoxicated.
- The alcoholic parent may only be allowed to visit their children if someone else is present.
- Parents who are recovering alcoholics should not spend the night away from their children.
- The alcoholic parent would have to take mandatory alcohol and drug tests regularly or randomly.
- An alcoholic parent could be ordered by the court to go to a rehabilitation center, Alcoholics Anonymous, or any other type of group that would help them resolve their addiction.
In extraordinary circumstances, a court may terminate the parental rights of an alcoholic parent. This decision is generally made only when the addiction has had a deleterious effect on their child’s well-being and/or they cannot abide by stipulations set forth by the court pertaining to their offspring.
Addiction and Property Division and Spousal Support
Most courts across America will seek to divide your shared assets as evenly and fairly as possible. However, if your spouse has squandered money from the marriage to feed their addiction, they may be held accountable when the property is divided. The same goes for any form of spousal support.
If your spouse’s alcoholism led to them spending a disproportionate amount of your joint assets, the court may award you more spousal support. However, if their alcoholism is due to a health problem, the court may decide to give them financial support for treatment instead.
FAQs of Divorcing an Alcoholic
What traumas can children suffer when living with alcoholic parents?
Worry, depression, stress and anxiety are common in children whose parents struggle with addiction. When divorce is added to the mix, it can further complicate things for these kids in terms of confusion and anger. Depending on their age, they may also face additional problems such as low self-esteem, behavioral issues or even substance abuse themselves.
Can an alcoholic be awarded custody or visitation rights in divorce?
Although it is possible, most courts prefer to award them supervised visitation rather than full custody. The court assesses the parent’s lifestyle and takes necessary precautions for their child if alcoholism is proven to be detrimental to their well-being.
What are the factors a judge would consider to decide divorce cases involving an alcoholic?
The judge will review the divorce case and look at factors such as each parent’s ability to provide a stable home environment, their own behavior and lifestyle, any evidence of child abuse or neglect, and whether the court needs to intervene on behalf of the child. Ultimately, the best interests of the child will be the deciding factor in divorce cases involving an alcoholic.
What qualifies as alcoholism?
- Having more than four drinks on any given day or more than 14 drinks each week for men.
- Having more than three drinks on any given day or more than seven drinks each week for women.
How might drinking cause a relationship to fail and lead to a divorce an alcoholic?
Alcohol misuse in a romantic relationship can have serious impacts on both spouses, their kids, and other family members, including intimacy problems, mistrust, a lack of communication, abuse, a lack of emotional availability, financial strain, and negative effects on young children.
What are the two telltale symptoms of an alcohol use disorder?
Having brief blackouts or losing short-term memory are two of the most typical signs of alcohol abuse. displaying signs of irritability and drastic mood changes. using justifications, such as the need to relax, cope with stress, or feel normal, to justify drinking.
If you are divorcing a spouse, divorcing an alcoholic wife/husband with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, be aware that the process may be more difficult than usual. You can expect more arguments and extremely complex legal issues. It is therefore essential to consult with a divorce attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in these cases, in order to ensure the best possible outcome for yourself and your family. Thank you for reading the topic of “divorce an alcoholic” at our website.
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