Can I Get a Divorce if My Spouse Has a Substance Abuse Problem?

man sitting on road with alcohol container

When your spouse struggles with substance abuse, it can, unsurprisingly, cause your marriage to deteriorate. Unfortunately, this is often a driving factor behind divorce for many couples. However, you may not know how this process works or whether or not you can proceed if your spouse is actively addicted. The following blog explores what you must know about divorce if your spouse abuses alcohol or drugs and how a Los Angeles divorce attorney can assist you through these challenging times.

How Will My Spouse’s Substance Abuse Impact Our Divorce?

California is a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning you do not need to prove any grounds for divorce in order to file. Even if your spouse did commit martial misconduct, California does not recognize “fault-based” divorces. However, this does not mean your spouse will not suffer any consequences for their contribution to the dissolution of your marriage.

The most significant impact will be financial. If your spouse used marital funds or property to support their addiction, it can impact the distribution of assets and your alimony payments. Though marital misconduct is not grounds for “punishment,” if your spouse misappropriated your funds to pay for their addiction, you will likely receive a more favorable outcome to make up for the assets they took from you over the course of your marriage.

Similarly, if your spouse will receive alimony from you, they likely cannot use their addiction as an excuse to receive higher payments. Essentially, if they have the capacity to earn a high income, if not for their substance abuse issues, the court will take their potential earning capacity into consideration when determining alimony.

Can a California Attorney Assist Me?

Going through a divorce when your spouse suffers from addiction can be devastating. As such, it’s essential to enlist the assistance of an experienced attorney to help you navigate these challenging times.

Your attorney can help gather evidence to prove that your spouse has a substance abuse problem. This includes rehabilitation records, DUI charges, and text messages or emails exchanged between you and your spouse.

Not only can your attorney help prove that your spouse took advantage of your assets, but they are also there to guide you through this complex process. Unfortunately, divorces of any kind can be complicated. As such, having a well-versed attorney to handle the case can help ensure your divorce is in good hands.

At the Zitser Family Law Group, we understand how challenging divorces due to substance abuse issues can be. Our dedicated and compassionate team will handle the legal complexities so you can focus on moving into the next chapter of your life. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you with your divorce.

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