Decatur Family Law and Probate Attorney

If I have to divorce an addict, what legal issues might arise?

On Behalf of | Jul 22, 2022 | Divorce

Like most other states, Texas recognizes no-fault divorce.

For people who are ending a marriage because their spouse is addicted to alcohol, drugs or other destructive behavior, this means that they do not have to do anything to prove that the addiction has reached a certain level of severity.

The person just has to decide that they wish to end the marriage.

However, no-fault divorce does not make ending a marital relationship with an addict easy. On a personal level, the addict may behave erratically during the divorce or may be especially argumentative or even aggressive.

Legally, a Wise County resident who is trying to break out of a relationship with an addict should pay careful attention to certain issues.

Child custody and support may require special attention

For one, in many cases where one spouse has addiction-related issues, a standard parenting plan where both parents have decision-making authority and plenty of time with the children simply does not work.

If there are concerns about the children’s safety and well-being, a parent may have to ask the court to impose restrictions on the time the addict parent has with the children. Doing so will require putting together a well-documented and convincing case based on the custody laws of Texas.

Likewise, since addicts may not have a steady job precisely because of their addiction, figuring out a fair amount of child support can be challenging.

For instance, the court may wish to take into account the addict’s income potential or may consider other sources of support the addict is receiving while out of work.

A Decatur-area resident will want to watch out for property waste

Although Texas is a community property state, this state’s courts will try to divide the property fairly.

While every case is a little different, in general, courts might consider whether one party misused or wasted property without the other person’s knowledge or involvement. Misuse or waste of property can happen when one spouse is feeding an addiction.

To give a practical example, one spouse might be able to convince the court that they should not be responsible for the other spouse’s secret gambling debt.

Divorces in which addiction is an issue present some challenges. Someone going through this type of divorce may find that they need skilled and experienced legal assistance.