Posted on in Divorce
When a spouse is suffering from addiction, it can be hard on the marriage. It may only be a matter of time before the other spouse feels that going their separate ways is the only option. Nearly 15 million people struggle with alcohol addiction, and the numbers for drug use are similarly alarming. Studies show that one of the main reasons couples get a divorce is addiction. If your spouse is addicted to alcohol or drugs, this fact will likely influence your divorce case.
Default Judgment When Addiction Affects Participation in the Process
Addiction to alcohol and drugs will control a person’s life. Satiating the need to drink or take drugs becomes more important than the family itself. It is also common for the spouse who suffers from an addiction to be unable to participate in the divorce and they may become a detriment in several aspects of the divorce. In Texas, however, you can still get a divorce even if your spouse is not an active participant in the proceedings. When you file for divorce, your spouse will be asked to respond to the divorce petition. If they refuse to sign divorce papers or file a response and appear in court within one month, the court may grant a default judgment. That judgment would generally be in favor of the person who filed for divorce.
Texas is a state that allows no-fault divorce, which means you do not need to definitively prove your spouse’s addiction as the grounds for your divorce. While it is possible to obtain a divorce on the fault-based grounds of substance abuse or addiction, it is generally much easier and less stressful to cite insupportability. Insupportability simply means there is discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the relationship.
Addiction and Child Custody
If you have children, you are likely worried about child custody and your spouse’s ability to parent if they have an addiction. It is natural to have concerns about whether or not your children will be safe. In such cases, it would make sense to seek full custody. Parents who have a substance abuse problem are generally less likely to win custody. The court’s main goal is to protect the child, and restricted visitation may be imposed to ensure the children’s safety. Visitation, for example, may be supervised or the parent with the addiction may be required to attend a drug or alcohol treatment before they are awarded time with the child.
In the most extreme cases, a court may award full custody of children to the parent who petitioned for the divorce and not grant visitation to the parent with the addiction. In cases where a parent’s substance abuse led to serious injury to a child, the court may end that parent’s custodial rights.
Contact a Collin County Divorce Lawyer
If you want a divorce because your spouse is addicted to drugs or alcohol, and you can no longer put up with the situation, Law Office of Brian Bagley can help you. You will be represented by a Plano divorce attorney with experience in these types of divorces. Call (972) 843-7158 for a free consultation.