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Can a spouse’s addiction affect the divorce process?

| Jul 12, 2021 | Divorce |

When a spouse has a substance abuse problem — or any type of abuse problem — is could so negatively affect the marriage that it may actually fall apart. The complications abuse issues can cause in a marriage may be so severe that a Florida couple not only decided to end the marriage, but the issues could spill into the divorce process itself.

The financial and legal backlash in a marriage

Chances are if one spouse has been struggling with addiction, the other has borne the brunt of some of the fallout. Legal and financial problems may have already affected the non-addicted spouse. He or she may have had to shoulder the burden of dines or other costs incurred by the addicted spouse.

Addiction affects trust

It takes trust to negotiate a divorce settlement in good faith. That may be difficult for a spouse who has been lied to. Unfortunately, that spouse may no longer have the faith to enter negotiations with the spouse battling the addiction. Consequently, many of these cases go to court where a judge will decide how to divide property. It may be more costly and more time-consuming.

Debt and addiction

It takes money to be an addict. That spouse may have racked up debt in the other spouse’s name or jointly for which the non-addicted spouse may be held accountable. Creditors can pursue those for any debt that has their name on it. The non-addicted spouse might want to think about taking a larger share of assets in exchange for paying more of the debt.

If children are a part of these kinds of cases, there may further complications surrounding custody and visitation if one parent struggles with addiction. Florida residents may wish to discuss these and other issues regarding substance abuse and the divorce process with an experienced family law attorney. A lawyer may be able to suggest the best strategies for dealing with the issues during and after a divorce.