Statistics reveal that there are millions of people in the United States who suffer from alcohol and drug addiction. Not only does battling an addiction leads to problems in a person’s life, it also can create a number of substantial obstacles for a person’s family.
Given the added strain that an addiction can place on a marriage, it is understandable that substance abuse can often lead to divorce. The following will take a brief look at some of the issues that commonly arise when divorcing a spouse with addiction issues.
Substance Abuse as a Ground for Divorce
Georgia is a state that allows no-fault divorce, which means that a person is not required to establish that a spouse is responsible for the end of a marriage. This means that if a person wants to divorce a spouse with a substance abuse problem, they can maintain a degree of privacy about it.
Similarly, courts often do not take substance abuse issues into consideration when dividing marital assets. There is a possibility, however, that a court might consider this negative behavior if the spouse’s substance abuse issues ended up decreasing the value of a couple’s assets.
Child Custody When a Spouse Has Substance Abuse Issues
Many parents who navigate a divorce discover that substance abuse issues have a significant impact on a number of child care related issues. When tasked with awarding custody, family courts often take the best interests of the child into consideration, which likely means that a court will find it is not in a child’s best interest to reside with a parent who has substance abuse issues.
There is a possibility that mild to moderate substance problems may not impact issues of child custody. If a parent with substance abuse issues attends rehab treatment, there is a possibility that this might not end up impacting issues of child custody.
Because custody considerations are often complex, however, it can help greatly to retain the assistance of an experienced family law attorney who can help you navigate these issues.
How Courts Often Decide Child Issues When Substance Abuse is Involved
There are a number of different ways in which courts commonly decide issues when one parent has substance abuse issues. Courts might order:
- Only visitation rights for a parent,
- No overnight stays at a parent’s house,
- Subject the parent with substance abuse issues to random drug and alcohol screenings, or
- Not give any custody or visitation rights to the parent with substance abuse issues.
While courts tend to only terminate parental rights when very severe substance abuse issues are involved, this is always a possibility.
Speak with an Experienced Georgia Divorce Attorney
If you are involved in a divorce from a person with a substance abuse problem, one of the best steps that you can take is to obtain the assistance of an experienced family law attorney.
Contact Vayman & Teitelbaum P.C. today to schedule a free initial consultation. We have substantial experience helping people navigate a variety of divorce-related issues including custody and visitation schedules.