How Does Your Spouse’s Drinking Problem Affect Your Divorce Case?
Strong marriages can survive many obstacles, but addiction to alcohol or drugs has a way of destroying everything in its path. Excessive drinking is one of the leading causes of divorce. Seeing a family member struggle with alcohol use disorder is painful, and so is divorce, but brighter days are ahead. Pursuant to Florida’s no-fault divorce laws, you do not have to prove that your spouse, or your spouse’s drinking, is responsible for the breakdown of your marriage. The family law courts treat divorce cases where one spouse is an alcoholic the same way they treat any other divorce case. If you have decided that divorcing your spouse is the best way to ensure your long-term wellbeing and that of your children, a Boca Raton divorce lawyer can help you take the first steps toward rebuilding your life after a marriage ruined by substance use disorder.
The Financial Consequences of Addiction and Their Effect on Divorce
Some people manage to be successful in their careers despite excessive consumption of alcohol, while their drinking is destroying their relationships with their families. The three-martini lunches of businessmen are the stuff of legend, as are booze-soaked restaurant kitchens. Equally often, marital conflict over finances is intricately linked to marital conflict over one spouse’s drinking. In either case, you must be honest with the court about your income, assets, and debts. Since Florida is an equitable distribution state, the court will decide on a case-by-case basis how to divide your assets and debts fairly. In fact, most couples agree to a settlement during divorce mediation, so the court does not have to decide at all. Your lawyer can help you decide what is the fairest way to disentangle your finances from your spouse’s finances and negotiate for your requests in mediation.
How Does Alcoholism Affect Parenting Time Decisions?
A parent suffering from addiction is still a parent. If your spouse has not gotten sober by the time your divorce becomes final, he or she is still entitled to a share of parenting time. Most likely, the court will order your spouse not to consume alcohol in the presence of your minor children. If your spouse has endangered the children by drinking in their presence, the court may order supervised parenting time, such as by requiring your mother-in-law to be present whenever the children are with your spouse. The court revisits all decisions about supervised parenting time every six months.
Can Your Marriage Be Saved?
Perhaps you decided that the only way your spouse can achieve sobriety is if you get divorced, or maybe you want your children to spend at least part of the week in a household where no one is drunk and behaving unpredictably. Meanwhile, you take your marriage vows seriously and would never want to leave a marriage just because life is harder than you expected it to be. Going to counseling or attending Al-Anon meetings can help you figure out whether divorce is the best decision.
Contact Schwartz | White If You Are Contemplating Divorce
A South Florida family law attorney can help you make decisions about divorce or legal separation if you do not want to turn your back on the idea of staying together for better or worse. Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.