Addiction impacts our society in many ways. Besides the effect that drug and alcohol abuse has on public health, it also affects the addict’s personal relationships, including their marriage.
Anyone who has ever been married to someone struggling with substance abuse knows how hard it can be. The addiction can take over not just the addict’s world but their family’s too. Spouses and children must live with the addict’s erratic behavior and inability to fulfill their responsibilities. Eventually, living this way can become impossible, and the spouse files for divorce.
The ‘last straw’ in one-eighth of divorces
Indeed, in one survey of divorced people, 34.6 percent said that addiction contributed to the end of their marriage, and 12.1 percent described addiction as the “final straw” that made divorce necessary.
Whatever caused your marriage to break down might be relevant when it comes to determining child custody, especially if it involves addiction. For example, a parent with an untreated drug or alcohol addiction might not be fit to share custody. But because Washington D.C. and Maryland have no-fault divorce, you do not have to prove that your spouse’s substance abuse caused your marriage to fail or defend yourself against accusations that you are an addict. The reasons behind your divorce should not affect your right to an equitable share of the marital property, child support and most other matters.
Divorce and addiction
Addiction is a terrible thing. Because of it, spouses can still love each other yet be unable to share their lives anymore. The best thing you can do for yourself and your children is to ensure that your divorce order is reasonable and sustainable long-term. That is best achieved by working with an experienced and caring family law attorney.