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I am Concerned About How My Spouse's Substance Abuse Problem May Affect Our Divorce. What Should I Do? 

Posted on March 20, 2023 in Divorce

chicago divorce lawyerWhen one spouse has a substance abuse problem, it can complicate divorce in various ways. The spouse with the addiction may be less able to negotiate effectively, and their addiction may impact their ability to make sound decisions. Today, we will discuss what to remember as you approach the divorce process if you have a spouse with a substance abuse problem. Consider contacting an experienced divorce attorney to ensure your rights are protected and understand your legal options. 

What to Do if the Spouse You Are Divorcing Has a Substance Abuse Problem 

While all situations are different, here are some considerations as you move toward and through the divorce process, including:

  • Get help for your spouse – If your spouse is willing, encourage them to seek help for their addiction. This could include therapy, rehab, or support groups. Addressing the addiction can help your spouse to be in a better position to negotiate and make decisions about the divorce. 

  • Document the substance abuse – Keep a record of any instances where your spouse's addiction has impacted your marriage and family life. This can include missed appointments, financial problems, or other negative consequences of the addiction. In addition, this documentation may be useful in later court proceedings. 

  • Be prepared to negotiate – As stated at the outset, if your spouse has a substance abuse problem, they may be less able to negotiate. Therefore, be ready to take the lead in negotiations, and consider working with a mediator or attorney to help you reach a fair settlement.

  • Consider custody issues -  If you have children, your spouse's substance abuse problem may impact custody and visitation arrangements. Be prepared to provide evidence of the addiction and how it has affected your children's lives.

  • Protect yourself financially – Substance abuse can be expensive, and your spouse may have incurred debts related to their addiction. Protect yourself financially by keeping your bank account, credit cards, and other financial assets separate from your spouse's. 

Contact an Arlington Heights, IL Divorce Attorney

Sometimes, people may feel a level of guilt if they are divorcing a spouse who happens to have a substance problem. Remember that what is most important is your compassion toward your spouse while considering the best interests of yourself and your children. Contact the Arlington Heights, IL divorce lawyers with A. Traub & Associates for compassionate yet determined legal counsel. Call 847-749-4182 for a private consultation.



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