Tips For Divorcing A Drug-Addicted Partner
Drug addiction can have far-reaching effects on divorce; you need to be careful when divorcing an addicted partner. Here are some of the things to keep in mind in such a case:
Don't Use It as a Threat
Don't file for divorce if you don't mean it; in fact, don't even threaten your spouse with divorce. For one, such an approach isn't likely to make your spouse abandon their addictive habit. Threatening your spouse with divorce is also emotionally hurtful and may make them distrust you even more. The divorce court won't also like it if you are playing with their time. Lastly, you may be unable to cancel your divorce if you file it and your spouse responds with their own counterclaim before you can cancel the petition. In such a case, you will need your spouse's permission to cancel the divorce, and they may be unwilling to give it.
Document Your Spouse's Actions
You can use drug abuse as a divorce ground, but that isn't always the best route to take. The good news is that all states allow no-fault divorces. Even if you decide to file for a no-fault divorce, you can still use evidence of your spouse's drug abuse to protect your kids and assets. Talk to a divorce attorney to help you decide which type of divorce to file.
Protect Your Assets
If your spouse is a serious addict and has reached rock bottom, then there is no telling how far they may go to fund their expensive habit. Addicts have been known to raid family accounts or even sell family assets to buy drugs. Therefore, take the necessary steps to protect your assets, for example, by opening a separate bank account and keeping your jewelry in safe deposit box.
Protect Yourself and Your Kids
Some people turn violent when high or hurt. Take protective measures if you suspect that your partner may abuse you or your kids physically, for example, if they have a history of family abuse. Depending on how threatened you feel, it may be helpful to consult the authorities or child services to get your kids out of harm's way. You may also get a temporary restraining order to give you temporary exclusive use of your family house and keep your spouse away from you.
You don't need a divorce lawyer to end your marriage. However, considering all the issues above, it's better to use an attorney for your divorce if your partner is addicted to drugs.