If your spouse has a substance abuse problem or an addiction, this may be one of the reasons you need to get a divorce The addiction itself can make the divorce complicated and painful.
The first issue to attend to is your personal safety and that of your children and pets. If your spouse becomes violent, it is essential that you get in touch with the police and a domestic violence shelter and have a plan to get yourself and your children to safety. If you are concerned about your spouse being a neglectful parent to your child, you need to talk to your attorney about a temporary custody order and possibly supervised visitation to ensure that your child is cared for. Talk to friends and family about whether they can take your pets if you are leaving the marital home and cannot take them with you.
When you are seeking a divorce or custody from someone with a substance abuse problem, the addiction may be clear as day to you but very difficult to prove to a court without concrete proof. It’s important to work with your attorney and discuss your testimony, other witnesses and evidence you can present to help the court understand the situation. You may be able to ask for a professional substance abuse or mental health evaluation of your spouse to prove your case.
Another concern when dealing with a substance abuser is protecting your marital assets. You may be worried that your spouse will spend all of your money on drugs or alcohol and you may also be concerned that the marital home and the things in that home could be destroyed, stolen, or lost due to the addiction. Your attorney can help you transfer joint assets to accounts for safekeeping and also work with you to obtain exclusive possession of the home and its contents during the divorce.
DeTorres & DeGeorge is ready to answer all of your questions about divorce in New Jersey.