Will Divorce Have Negative Consequences
Negative emotions of any kind will and do have an immediate effect on addicts. Because addicts are addicted to the dopamine high provided by their drug, emotional upsets like a divorce can cause them to spiral down further into addiction. This isnt your fault, and would likely happen even if you didnt go through with the divorce, because users increase their usage over time no matter what. However, it may also give them the kickstart they need to decide that they need help.
Importantly, just the threat of divorce is rarely enough. When faced with the option to choose me or the substance addicts often end up choosing their substance. This is not only because they are addicted, but also because negative emotions like the fear of losing a spouse can kick off a downward spiral of grief, sadness, and guilt, which cause the brain to crave a dopamine high. As a result, ultimatum threats for divorce often leave the addict craving their substance even more. This is a natural reaction from the body, and has nothing to do with you, who they love more, or what they choose. For this reason, you should only use this kind of ultimatum if you are fully prepared to go through with a divorce.
Divorce Alcoholism And Drug Use
When a spouse turns to alcohol and drug use to deal with problems, the effects can be devastating to both the individual and the family. Alcoholism and drug addiction often cause financial problems and family negligence.;
At its worst, addiction can cause the spouse to behave erratically, or even violently. This leaves the sober spouse in a difficult situation. He or she may want to stay in the marriage to provide support and stability for the addict out of love, however, if the addicted spouse is abusive towards him or her, or the children, divorce may be the safest and only option.
Ways Substance Abuse Can Affect Your Divorce
To file for a divorce, nobody has to be at fault. Basically, a married couple can get divorced for any reason and neither spouse has to prove wrongdoing by the other spouse. Even if a married couple just doesnt want to be around each other anymore or dont share common interests anymore, they can get a divorce. However, in some areas, you could still file for a divorce based on who is at fault, such as with physical abuse, adultery or substance abuse. In these areas, you could file for a divorce because of your spouses substance abuse.
Even in the no-fault divorce states, you can still state evidence as to your spouses abuse of alcohol and drugs. The reason you may want to do this is because of child custody or other related issues that may come up during the divorce. Generally, the spouse who is sober has more control as to what happens during the divorce. They are often more likely to have things go their way without taking things to court. The addicted spouse generally wont want to have their name smudged due to their substance abuse, so they may not argue what the sober spouse wants.
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Signs Of Substance Abuse Damage To A Relationship
The effects of drug and alcohol abuse can permeate every aspect of a relationship.
These are some signs of damage to a relationship due to substance abuse:
- The only way that a couple can communicate or be physically intimate with each other is when one or both partners are under the influence.
- Consuming drugs or alcohol becomes one of the main activities a couple does together.
- The relationship or family becomes isolated from other loved ones in an attempt to hide the addictive behavior.
- The majority of arguments and stress within the relationship revolve around drugs or alcohol.
- One or both partners claim they use drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with marital tension.
- One partner has begun to enable the other persons substance abuse.
- The non-addicted partner begins to feel like a caretaker instead of a partner of equal standing.
- One partner begins to be dishonest about their drug or alcohol consumption, sabotaging the trust they share with their partner.
- Using alcohol or drugs has become more important to a person than providing for their family or spending time with their loved ones.
- A persons career is on the rocks due to substance abuse, to the extent that it threatens the familys financial security.
- There is not enough money for food or bills due to how much money is spent on the abused substance.
Faced with the stark reality of these issues, many couples may begin contemplating divorce.
Types Of Addiction That Can Affect A Marriage
Addiction is a mental and behavioral condition that can refer to a reliance on addictive substancessuch as illicit drugs and alcoholor an addiction to certain behaviors.
Types of addiction include:
- exercise addiction
- sex addiction
People who struggle with drug addiction, for instance, may have both a chemical addiction to substances, as well as a behavioral addiction. While research about the underlying drivers of addiction is still ongoing, researchers do understand that addiction can be physical, mental, and psychological.
Drugs and alcohol, for instance, are known to have effects on the brain. These effects can make it difficult for a person to stop misusing substances. Alcohol and drug abuse can also cause other life difficulties, such as difficulty concentrating, unstable mood, and a lack of interest in activities previously enjoyed.
People living with addiction may neglect the needs of others, as well as their own, in order to continue engaging in unsupportive behaviors related to their addiction.
If youre married to someone who is addicted to drugs or certain behavioral patterns , youve likely experienced this for yourself. Your spouse may apologize, may promise theyll do better in the futureor perhaps appear to be unaware of how their addiction is affecting your marriage.
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If You’re Divorcing Someone With An Addiction It Can Have An Impact On Your Divorce See The Five Ways Below
There are millions of Americans that suffer from drug and alcohol addictions. Some are addicted to alcohol, others to prescription drugs and others to illegal drugs.
Battling an addiction can lead to serious negative consequences in ones life and it doesnt just stop with them. The family of an addict is also affected which is why so many addicts end up divorced.
Many spouses try to get their addicted loved one to go into drug & alcohol treatment. However, that doesnt always work. If your spouse is addicted to drugs and you dont feel you can stay, you should know more about how their substance abuse can affect your divorce. There are different factors that go into determining who gets what in a divorce. Additionally, if you have children with your addicted spouse, they are your main priority. Making sure they are taken care of in the best ways possible is the leading concern during divorce.
Signs Of Enabling: Are You Enabling Your Addicted Spouse
Enabling behaviors are common among spouses and other loved ones of those with addiction, especially within codependent relationships. The term enabling can generally be defined as helping or encouraging a person to continue using drugs, either directly or indirectly.
Examples of enabling behaviors include:
- giving the addicted person money to buy drugs
- allowing them to misuse drugs around you
- hiding or lying about their addictive behaviors to others
- taking on the responsibilities of your addicted spouse
- cleaning up for them after their drug misuse
- making excuses for their addictive behaviors or going along with their excuses
- getting them out of the financial difficulty thats resulted from their substance abuse
Enabling your spouse can have harmful effects on your own wellbeing, as well as that of your spouseeven when you mean well. Enabling behaviors can impede your spouse from seeking addiction treatment or progressing in their treatment.
Although enabling may feel like a way of protecting your spouse, supporting your spouse is different than enabling. Ways to support a loved one who is battling addiction might include attending couples counseling and driving them to treatment.
Another way to support your spouse would be to learn more about their addiction in your own time to better understand what theyre going through.
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Gathering A List Of Friendly And Potentially Hostile Witnesses
We break up witnesses into two categories.
These witnesses provide information to you and your retained professionals, including your divorce attorney and/or private investigator. They are also witnesses who have facts that support your position that your spouse has a serious drug addiction. Maintain each friendly witness’ name, address, phone number and email address.
Hostile witnesses are those who have personal knowledge of your spouse’s drug addiction but will likely not testify voluntarily. Your divorce attorney can subpoena such witnesses. These usually include one or both of the following.
What To Expect In A Texas Divorce Involving Substance Abuse
Substance abuse, whether its alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription drugs, is a big reason behind many divorces in America. In one study published in the journal Couple and Family Psychology, 34.6 percent of individuals cited it as the cause behind their divorce. But as to whether substance affects the outcome of your Texas divorce depends on the circumstances of your case.
1. Substance Abuse in a Divorce NOT Involving Children
Generally speaking, substance abuse tends to have a small impact on Texas divorce settlements among couples without children. But theres still a chance it can be grounds for a fault-based divorce, such as cruelty or domestic violence, especially if you can prove that substance abuse led to acts of cruelty or violence during the marriage.
Substance Abuse and Property Division
If proven that one spouse exhibits characteristics of addiction, the court may take this factor into account when dividing marital assets. In a community property state like Texas, this refers to all assets acquired during the marriage. For the most part, the court divides community property according to what it deems is just and righta phrase whose definition can change depending on the conduct of the addict spouse.
And, if proven that the addict spouse used the community estate for gambling or to purchase alcohol or drugs, you may also claim fraud or waste of marital assets during the divorce to receive a greater share of the community property.
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Is Divorce Inevitable When Married To An Addict
Addiction is, without a doubt, one of the greatest challenges for a marriage. The non-addicted spouse is affected by the addiction directly and indirectly.
They have to watch someone they love going through a disastrous downward spiral. Often, they also have to look at how this affects their children.
On top of that, they can be lied to, possibly cheated on, shouted at, possibly physically hurt, and be treated with far less respect than they deserve to be treated with.
Addiction will gradually eat away the trust and the closeness and by being legally bound to the addict, the non-addicted spouse will also be legally bound to share the damage that the addict might cause.
All this has the power to strain the marriage and drain the non-addicted spouses energy and tolerance. And it may be the cause of a divorce.
Not necessarily, though, as to whether the divorce will happen depends on a number of reasons, such as whether the addict is getting a treatment and how successfully, the quality and strength of the relationship prior to the addiction, etc.
Now, if you decide to get a divorce due to drug addiction, you will come across the questions, how to divorce a drug addict and when to divorce an addict.
Addiction And Divorce Statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control , national divorce and marriage rates are on the decline. Over the last 20 years, the number of divorces in the United States has decreased from 944,000 in 2000 to 782,038 in 2018.
Along with infidelity and domestic violence, substance abuse is commonly reported as one of the most common final straws among people in the United States who seek divorce. In a small study from 2013, 34.6% of participants named substance abuse as a primary reason for why they were seeking a divorce.
More than 20 million people in the United States are estimated to have a substance use disorder . While people who get married are believed to have lower substance abuse rates than the general population, substance abuse can also create unique stressors that may contribute to an unhappy or unsupportive marriage.
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What To Do If Youre Divorcing An Addicted Spouse: Step
Divorce is one of the most difficult decisions a person can make. When addiction is involved, the decision can become even more complicated.
Drug and alcohol addiction can have effects on a persons mind, body, and behavior. Divorcing someone who is actively struggling with addiction can come with a unique set of challenges.
Here are the steps to prepare for potential complications that could arise in moving to divorce an addicted spouse:
Is Addiction A Good Reason To Get Divorced
There is no clear cut answer to this question. Instead, each couple must be honest with themselves and examine the role of the addiction within their relationship.
Certain couples find that pursuing marriage counseling and drug rehabilitation can offer the support and healing necessary to help their marriage stabilize. Other couples decide that the toll of addiction runs too deep and decide to divorce.
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Are They Trying
If your spouse is acting as a detriment to your relationship and your life, without actively trying to help or to improve, then you cannot do anything. Addiction is a personal issue, and no matter how much it hurts to see someone suffer and ruin their life, there is nothing that you can do to change their attitude. If you havent already, you can try to help by taking your spouse to family therapy, reporting their drug use, and trying to get them to commit to a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility. Unfortunately, until they are ready to quit, none of these solutions will help.
If your spouse isnt trying, he or she is not ready to quit and will continue to put the addiction over you. This can be a painful truth, but it isnt your fault and it isnt entirely theirs either. Addiction works by changing the dopamine receptors in the brain and affecting the reward center, changing how the addict feels and receives pleasure. Their substance of choice floods their brain with dopamine, giving them a high that is significantly stronger than natural dopamine in the brain.
What Can I Do
If you are the person who is going through addiction and are willing to change, getting help may be your only option at this point. Addiction, as weve described above, fractures marriages and can destroy the lives of all that are involved. Addiction is commonly referred to as a family disease, and the only way to heal these open wounds is to get the treatment you need.
It is especially true if children are involved in the equation. The only way to give them a chance at a better future is to lead by example. If they see their parents entering treatment and owning up to their problem, they will start to gain their respect back for you and begin healing the relationships.
If you are worried about the detox process, Arete Recovery has you covered. Arete provides comprehensive services that help decrease the severity of the detox process. You owe it to yourself and your family to get help today.
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How Substance Abuse Affects Child Custody
One area where substance abuse factors in heavily is child custody.;While moderate drinking won’t affect a custody decision, courts will strongly consider any substance abuse issue that impacts parenting ability. All other things being equal, a parent with a substance abuse problem is less likely to win child custody.
Courts have a number of options to protect children from a parent’s substance abuse issues during visitation periods. The judge may order that there be no overnight visitation. The court could also require a professional to supervise all visitation periods. Courts often require that addicted parents submit to periodic drug and alcohol screens, attend Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings, or receive addiction treatment. Custody orders almost always require parents to abstain from use of alcohol or controlled substances before and during visitation.
In extreme cases, a court may award full custody of children to the sober parent, with the addicted parent having no visitation at all. In cases where the addicted parent has caused serious injury to a child due to substance abuse, a judge may terminate that parent’s custodial rights altogether.
How A Spouse’s Substance Abuse May Change Your Divorce Strategy
Posted by Aaron Thomas | Jun 12, 2019 | 0 Comments
Millions of Americans suffer from addiction, including to alcohol, illegal drugs, and prescription drugs. Oftentimes, those who are battling addiction can create serious problems within their own families, which may lead to divorce. If you’re divorcing a spouse with an addiction, you should understand how this issue may affect child custody and property division. This article explains how a spouse’s substance abuse may impact your strategy during a divorce.
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Substance Abuse As Grounds For Divorce
Substance abuse is not listed as a statutory reason for an at-fault divorce in Virginia. However, if substance abuse leads to a felony conviction, puts you at risk for physical harm, or causes your spouse to desert you, it could be a reason for a fault-based divorce. Otherwise, substance abuse may be the reason that you seek a no-fault divorce.
Since you can seek a no-fault divorce in Virginia, grounds for divorce may not be your primary concern. Instead, you may be worried about the details of your divorce.