Child Custody Problems: Substance Abuse and Divorce

A divorce can be one of the most turbulent times anyone ever has to go to go through. There are many factors that can further complicate the divorce process, even as it is already unpleasant. Some common problems that come up are issues splitting finances, disputes in child custody, and child support and alimony payments.

Adding a spouse with a substance abuse problem into the mix can have horrific consequences for the spouse themselves, any children involved in the middle of the divorce, and the other party in many different and equally devastating ways.

Consider all the following factors when dealing with a divorce, or impending divorce, when substance abuse problems are an issue, and often, a contributor:

  • Your best interest: If the substance abuse problems of your spouse are having a negative effect on your own well being, then you should certainly take action as soon as possible. If you are convinced your spouse can indeed recover, consider programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and therapy to repair your spouse, as well as your marriage.

  • Marital decisions: When a substance addicted spouse refuses to acknowledge and seek treatment for their illness, there are large decisions to be made for your marriage. Consider a professional attorney for all your options, but divorce is not the only one. A legal separation gives you time to evaluate a situation apart, but without dissolving your marriage.

  • The best interest of any children involved:  With marriage often comes children, and they must be the first priority in situations such as this. If your spouse’s substance abuse problem is likely to interfere with their ability to care for the children, consider attempting to limit visitation and custody. Often these visits can be supervised by another family member or a social worker to ensure the children are safe but still able to see their parent.

Alcohol and drug abuse continues to become a larger and larger epidemic in America, especially as the prevalence of prescription drug abuse among the population increased. While addiction is widely considered to be an illness, the negative effects it can have on loved ones is unparalleled.

If your spouse has become an addict and you need professional family law advice in Illinois, contact the experienced Illinois family law attorneys at Abear Law Offices today. With multiple locations across the Illinois, we strive to provide professional family law services to each client using extensive experience.