Steps to Take When Divorcing Someone Who Struggles With Substance Abuse

October 10, 2016

substance abuse attorneys Columbus

A spouse’s struggles with drugs or alcohol affects the whole family negatively. Advanced addiction can lead to unemployment, emotional instability, and physical abuse. Health problems related to alcoholism and drug abuse can also place financial hardships on a family and leave children without a parent capable of fulfilling basic duties like driving, cooking, and cleaning. 

The Columbus, Ohio, divorce attorneys with E.F. Whipps & Associates have helped several clients end marriages to spouses who struggled with substance abuse. Each case has raised difficult legal and emotional issues. Taking the right steps can smooth some of the roughest edges, as can working with a lawyer who has training and experience in psychology and psychiatry

Understand That Substance Abuse Can Be Grounds for Divorce 

Ohio family law lists “habitual drunkenness” as one of the reasons a man or woman can cite as the reason a marriage cannot be saved. The phrase implies alcoholism, but it also covers addiction to hard drugs such as prescription painkillers, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines. Abuse of marijuana may also stand as grounds for divorce if a partner’s use causes significant problems. 

Legally recognized grounds for divorce in Ohio that may be related to substance abuse include extreme cruelty and gross neglect of duties. 

Ensure You and Your Children Are Saf

Violence and emotional abuse can accompany alcoholism and drug addiction, and the risks for these harmful behaviors often rise when an abuser learns that a victimized spouse has filed for divorce. An empathetic and experienced substance abuse attorney in Columbus, OH, will know how to help a client find safe shelter and to secure an enforceable protective order. 

Collect Evidence of Addiction and Its Consequences 

A man or woman who files for divorce on the grounds that his or her spouse is addicted to alcohol or drugs must recognize that substance abuse is a psychological disorder. Submitting medical records that confirm an addiction diagnosis and show that the spouse’s other health problems are related to substance abuse will go long ways toward making a case for divorce.

 Audio and video recordings of how a spouse acts irresponsibly or abusively while under the influence can also help a judge conclude that granting a divorce is the correct decision. Police reports and convictions on drunk driving or drug charges can serve the same purpose. 

Be Prepared for a Tough Divorce Process 

Addicts often act irresponsibly, fail to keep appointments, act disruptively when asked to account for past actions, and tell stories that do not stand up to scrutiny. Even when abuse is not an issue, negotiations and court hearings with a soon-to-be ex who struggles with substance abuse will almost always be ordeals to one degree or another. Allying with a dedicated divorce lawyer can help a man or woman weather the turmoil. 

If your spouse’s addiction has made your marriage unsustainable, reach out to the Columbus family law attorneys with E.F. Whipps & Associates. We are always discrete, and we have experience helping clients deal with problems created by their partners’ alcohol and drug abuse. Request a consultation online or call us at (614) 461-4006.




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