Pesce Law Group, P.C.


Naperville | Oak Brook | Burr Ridge | Lake Forest | St. Charles

Divorcing an Addict

 Posted on May 24, 2016 in Divorce

Naperville divorce attorneysDrug or alcohol addiction is difficult in every circumstance, but for those married to an addict, the challenge can be even greater. Being married to an addict, no matter how much love is present, can be nearly impossible, especially if the addict is unwilling to admit their problem or seek help. Unfortunately, for many, divorce is the only option. Divorcing an addict can be challenging, but you are not alone. Millions of Americans are married to addicts, stuck feeling helplessly trapped by their spouse’s addiction. If therapy, counseling, and other solutions have done nothing to improve your situation, divorcing your spouse may be your next step. Here is what you need to know about divorcing an addict.

How Addiction Can Destroy a Marriage

Addiction is a serious illness for the addict and for any friends and family members trying to support them. Addiction in a marriage can quickly cause problems. Addicts often adopt anti-social tendencies, abdicate responsibilities, and engage in self-destructive behaviors. If children are involved, a spouse struggling with addiction can easily become unable or unfit to parent, especially if they consume alcohol or their drug of choice around the children. Additionally, addicts often steal, and an addict spouse could easily use vital family money to fund their addiction.

For the non-addict spouse, supporting a partner with an addiction can be extremely difficult. You may feel powerless, frustrated, and angry with your spouse, or question why they are unable to prioritize their marriage and their family over their addiction. In reality, addiction is an illness that an addict can not control, and their negative behaviors are spurred by their addiction, not lack of love for you. When a spouse’s addiction initially comes to light, many non-addict partners attempt to continue life as normal. Specialists say, however, that when a spouse constantly covers up for an addict, or pays the bills they were supposed to pay, or takes on the parenting duties of the addict, that is enabling the addict to further their addiction. It can be a difficult choice to make, but once you realize your spouse is not going to change, divorce is likely the best option.

Divorcing an Addict

Specialists say that many addicts need to reach “rock bottom” before they are able to admit they have a problem and seek support. Divorce, and the risk of losing their children, can be the “rock bottom” needed to put an addict on the path to recovery. For many non-addict spouses, divorce is also necessary for self-preservation, and the preservation of their children, if the addict’s behaviors have negatively impacted their family, which they do in many cases. Addiction experts say the threat of divorce is often not enough to turn an addict's behaviors around, and advise that a non-addict spouse only mention divorce if they are planning on following through.

If the decision to divorce has been made, you need the help of a qualified divorce attorney with experience in divorcing an addict. The skilled DuPage County divorce attorneys at Pesce Law Group, P.C. are here to help get clients through these types of delicate situations. We understand the negative impacts substance abuse can have on families, and can help you out of a difficult situation while also ensuring your spouse receives the help they need. If you believe yourself or your family to be in danger due to your spouse's addiction, we can also help you get an immediate protective order to keep you from harm. Call 630-352-2240 today for a free consultation.


Share this post:
Back to Top