Divorcing an Addict can be Challenging
Our New Jersey divorce attorneys provide the support and guidance you need when initiating a divorce against an addicted spouse.
When a person suffers a drug addiction, it can have a major impact on that person’s spouse, children, and other family members. You may have tried numerous ways to get your spouse help for addiction, but there comes a point when you need to think about yourself. This generally involves separating from the addict and initiating divorce proceedings. As experienced Monmouth County divorce attorneys, we understand how challenging this situation can be. The following outlines some common issues that arise in these cases and how you can successfully deal with them.
Why Addiction Matters in Divorce Proceedings
When couples divorce, the person filing the divorce petition may do so on the basis of irreconcilable differences. This means that there are issues within the marriage that cannot be worked through, with neither party specifically to blame. You can also file on the basis of fault grounds, which places the blame for the collapse of the marriage on the other party involved.
Under the New Jersey Statutes, drug addiction is one of the eight fault grounds under which a divorce may be granted. The advantage of naming specific grounds in your divorce complaint include:
- It conveys the truth and asserts that you are the wronged party in divorce proceedings;
- It supports legal actions, such as a restraining order;
- It can entitle you to a great share of marital property, particularly if your partner wasted assets supporting his or her addiction.
- It may entitle you to spousal support, or alimony;
- It can be a factor in determining custody, helping to ensure children are protected.
It is natural to feel uncertain or hesitant about disclosing your partner’s addiction. However, doing so can have a major impact on you and your children’s safety, financial security, and ability to recover after.
Challenges in Substantiating Your Claims
Drug addiction is a major problem throughout the nation. People easily get addicted to illegal drugs as well as prescribed painkillers or other medications. Unfortunately, one of the major characteristics of a drug addict is the tendency to lie and cover up the addictive behavior.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSA) offers resources to help family members of addicts understand and deal with their loved ones. In addition to getting the support you need, it is also important to take steps to document the addict’s behavior:
- Keep detailed records of property and assets, along with any transactions made by your spouse.
- Gather documentation of drug use, such as arrest records, photos of drugs in his or her possession, or videos of your spouse under the influence;
- Keep a detailed journal of your spouse’s actions, unusual behaviors, and arguments involving you or your children;
- Make a list of people willing to testify about your spouse’s addiction and the impact it has on your family.
Contact Our Monmouth County, NJ Divorce Attorneys
At Lomurro Law, we can help you deal successfully with the challenges of divorcing a spouse who is an addict. For legal guidance in your case, contact our Monmouth County divorce attorneys to request a confidential consultation today.