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DuPage County divorce lawyerTragically, addiction is something that touches millions of Americans’ lives every year. Drug and alcohol abuse, gambling addiction, and even compulsive shopping can rob a person of their joy, career, and even marriage. If you are considering leaving your spouse due to his or her addiction, you may feel lost, confused, and unsure of how to move forward with a divorce. The bad news is that divorcing an addict is often much more challenging than divorcing a person without addiction issues. The good news is that there are steps you can take to help prevent complications as well as protect yourself and your rights during the divorce process.

You Do Not Need to Prove Your Need for a Divorce

Television and movies have only added to the confusion surrounding separation and divorce. In many films, a spouse can be seen explaining how and why the other spouse created the need for the couple to divorce. In real life, you will never need to justify your desire to end your marriage. Illinois, along with every other U.S state, allows married spouses to file for divorce without specifying the “grounds” or reasoning for the separation. You will be able to file for divorce based on no-fault grounds. In Illinois the only official grounds for divorce is "irreconcilable differences," meaning that the marriage is irretrievably damaged and cannot be salvaged.

Addiction Issues May Affect Child Custody Decisions

Courts making decisions about child custody and visitation understand that many parents have the occasional stiff drink. However, any substance abuse or addiction issues that are severe will likely be seen as red flags by the court. Anything that the judge thinks will affect a person’s parenting ability will be taken into consideration. In order to create the healthiest environment for children possible, a judge may order that the addicted parent only visit with their child during the daytime and forgo overnight visits. The judge also has the option of requiring visits to be supervised by a professional appointed by the court. Parents who struggle with severe drug and alcohol addiction but wish to maintain parental responsibility may be required to submit to occasional drug and alcohol screens or attend an addiction recovery program or support group. If the court believes an addicted parent represents a danger to his or her child(ren), full custody may be awarded to the non-addicted parent.

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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County family law attorneysAccording to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 21.5 million teens and adults struggled with drug and alcohol addiction in 2014. Addiction to drugs and alcohol can be devastating to those affected. An addicted person can experience extreme cravings and physical withdrawals—some which can be life threatening. Those who use drugs and alcohol enough soon become dependent on the substance and need it to simply feel normal. Soon they are consumed by the addiction. They may break the law or hurt those they care about in order to get access to the substance. Sometimes an addict can become a danger to themselves, their spouse, or their children.

Some addicts are able to reach out for help and overcome their addiction, but some are not. If you are married to an addict, you know the immense toll addiction takes on a marriage. Many marriages do not survive one of the members becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol. It is hard to know how much a spouse should tolerate before they end the marriage. Because every relationship is unique, only those in the relationship can decide what is right for them. However, if you are married to an addict, and are contemplating ending the marriage, there are a few things experts suggest considering.

Are You Safe Being Married to Your Addicted Spouse?

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Posted on 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.

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