Considerations When Divorcing a Spouse With a Substance Abuse Problem
Millions of adults struggle with addiction and substance abuse problems in the United States. Sadly, drug and alcohol addiction can make someone a shell of who he or she was before the addiction began. Being married to an alcoholic or drug addict is often just as miserable as having the addiction yourself. In some cases, salvaging a marriage that has been devastated by drug and alcohol addiction is simply not a possibility. If you are planning to divorce your spouse and he or she has a substance abuse problem, it is important to educate yourself about how your spouse’s addiction may influence your divorce case.
Addiction May Impact Asset Division
Illinois is now a pure no-fault state when it comes to divorce. This means that you will not list your spouse’s addiction or any other fault-based grounds as the reason for your divorce. When you petition the court for a dissolution of marriage, the only ground available to you will be “irreconcilable differences.” However, your spouse’s addiction still has the potential to influence your divorce settlement. If your spouse spends a great deal of money or sells any property to finance his or her addiction, you may have a valid dissipation claim. Dissipation occurs when a spouse uses marital funds for a purpose that does not benefit the marriage after the marriage has begun to experience an “irretrievable breakdown.” The funds your spouse spends on drugs or alcohol during the end of your marriage may be considered dissipated assets. This means that you may be entitled to a proportionally greater share of the marital assets during property division as a form of reimbursement.
Child Parenting Concerns When a Spouse Suffers from Addiction
Illinois courts make all child-related decisions based on what is in the child’s best interests. Substance abuse problems can certainly affect the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. If your spouse uses or manufactures illicit drugs or passes out from drug or alcohol use in the presence of the children, unsupervised parenting time may not be in the children’s best interest. The judge may order a social worker or family member to supervise visitation until the addicted parent takes steps to get his or her addiction under control. If you are worried that your children will not be safe with your spouse, it is essential that you raise this concern with the court.
Contact an Illinois Divorce Lawyer
At MKFM Law, we understand how drug and alcohol addiction can complicate an already contentious divorce. Whether you need help protecting your finances, yourself, or your children, we are here to help you navigate the legal proceedings. Schedule a confidential consultation with a knowledgeable DuPage County divorce attorney by calling our office today at 630-665-7300.