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How Can I Prove Substance Abuse in a Divorce Case?

If you are going through a divorce and you believe that your spouse has a substance abuse problem, that can be worrying. It can be especially worrying if you have children and you are concerned about custody and visitation. If you want to show the court that your spouse has an issue that they need to address, then you should talk to our Morris County, NJ divorce lawyers.

What Evidence Can Back Up Allegations of Substance Abuse?

If you plan to show that your spouse’s substance abuse was a problem in your relationship, you need to have evidence. You can use any of the following to make your case:

  • Arrest records for drug or alcohol-related crimes
  • Medical records that indicate substance abuse
  • Medical records of you and other family members who were injured by your spouse
  • Failed drug tests from your spouse’s place of employment
  • Disciplinary records from your spouse’s workplace
  • Witness testimony

Can I Make My Former Spouse Take a Drug Test?

If there is enough evidence presented, the court could order your spouse to undergo a drug test. Obviously, a positive result would do a lot to bolster your case. The discretion of the judge matters a lot here though, and some may think that the drug test is not necessary or even relevant to your divorce case.

Can a Spouse’s Substance Abuse Affect the Divorce Agreement?

A spouse’s substance abuse can affect some parts of the divorce agreement, but many matters are unlikely to be affected by their behavior. Property still needs to be divided in an equitable manner and agreements need to be reached on alimony and other issues. An exception to this could occur if your spouse has been wasteful with shared assets. If they have frittered away your money due to their addiction, that might affect how financial matters are approached.

In most cases, a spouse’s substance abuse is most likely to affect child custody and visitation agreements. If one parent has a serious substance abuse issue that can put a child in danger or make it impossible to have their needs met, then that needs to be a factor in custody and visitation arrangements.

Can a Parent Get Visitation Rights Back After Completing Treatment for Substance Abuse?

Now, if a parent completes treatment, court-ordered or not, and makes other attempts to address their issues, they may be able to modify some parts of your previous agreement. They could start with supervised visitation as they continue to work on themselves and take steps to provide a safe environment for their children.

Consult With Our Family Lawyers

When you are going through a divorce, you need someone who can advocate for you and help you fight for the best outcome. Contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark and schedule a consultation with our experienced family lawyers. We can tell you more about how our firm can be of assistance.