What To Consider When Filing For Divorce Over Substance Abuse
There are a variety of issues often result with the end of a marriage. For some, it’s a lack of communication and understanding between couples. For others, it’s due to financial stress that manifests as anger — 27% of Americans have no savings and as high as 75% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck.
Yet there’s one issue in particular that can cause significant damage to any relationship: substance abuse. While substance abuse is difficult for those suffering from addiction, the potential safety risks that are posed for the un-addicted spouse or children can result in divorce. Because divorce can often be messy even when a spouse is not suffering from addiction, it’s important to understand how your spouse’s substance abuse will affect the divorce process.
The Division of Property
Oklahoma law mandates that marital property, or property that has been accumulated as well as money earned during the marriage, is to be divided between spouses. However, money and property that was brought to the marriage counts as separate property and therefore does not need to be divided among spouses.
Should the justification arrive, a court may be able to deviate from the marital property law in order to arrive at a decision that is more fair to either spouse. For instance, a court may deviate from the marital property law if one spouse, or the divorce attorney of the spouse, is able to prove that the other spouse wasted marital property intentionally. In this instance, the court may very well grand an unequal division of the assets.
Additionally, a court may provide a spouse with remaining assets should there be proof that the other spouse had used marital money or marital property in order to acquire alcohol or drugs. However, this decision is not set in stone and depends solely on the evidence available and the argument of the divorce attorney.
The Custody of Children
A spouse’s substance abuse can have a large impact on the decision of child custody and visitations. If you or your lawyer can gather sufficient evidence regarding the other spouse’s substance abuse, the court may limit the visitation of the parent or bar the parent’s visitation altogether if it’s within the best interests of the child. However, the likelihood of the latter decision is unlikely unless there is proof of domestic violence or danger. The parent suffering from substance abuse will most likely be ordered to have supervised visits with the child or children.
Undergoing the process of divorce can be a difficult experience, but especially for a spouse involved in a marriage where substance abuse is a key issue. To help navigate the conflicts of divorce, contact a law firm or divorce attorney today for a consultation.