The consistent use and abuse of drugs and alcohol can break up even the best marriages. Even worse, it can prove devastating to children caught up in the messy divorce that ensues. Hire an experienced family lawyer and consider the following six ways drug and alcohol addiction can change the way divorce is handled.

1. Child Safety and Custody Issues

When your ex-partner is heavily involved in drugs or alcohol, safety is a big issue when it comes to your children. You don’t want to completely break off contact between kids and the troubled parent, but they need to be sober at the time of visits or interactions. As the parent without an addiction, you need to be the one looking to gain primary custody.

2. Supervised Visitation of Children

You definitely need to stick to a schedule of supervised visitation of children by the parent suffering from addiction. You will have professionals available to help determine if they are sober for the visit and in good condition. It is the best way to protect the children during these difficult times.

3. Squandering Marital Assets

The division of marital property can become messy when drugs or alcohol addictions are involved. Many marital assets can be squandered in securing funds to support expensive habits. The judge can penalize the spouse that has squandered the assets, but without the ability to work regularly, you may not see any financial remedy.

4. Lack of Financial Support

Most people suffering from addiction rarely work any regular hours. Many don’t hold jobs at all. It’s frustrating when you are the only one that seems to worry whether the electric bill gets paid and the kids have food to eat. All you can do is concentrate on meeting their needs yourself.

5. Delays Due to Overdoses or Emergency Treatment

The entire progress of the divorce can come to a halt periodically due to overdoses and your spouse having to enter drug or alcohol treatment. As aggravating as it seems, try to have patience and understand that their seeking treatment is a good thing, even if it does delay the process. For more information, you can visit the Matrimonial Home website.

6. Added Stress and Emotional Turmoil

No doubt, having a spouse involved in the use of drugs or alcohol can make the process of divorce tougher than it would be normally. Complete chaos and turmoil might be the best description you can give at times. You can still make it to the other side a stronger person. All you have to do is stay focused and take it one day at a time.

Consult with a family lawyer if you are embarking on the path of divorce with a spouse that has a drug or alcohol addiction and get the best advice possible.