The issues of substance abuse and divorce are the types of topics which we all know effect millions of people, but never expect it to impact us. Unfortunately, the reality is that in the U.S. nearly 1,000,000 divorces take place each year and tens of millions of adults will partake in binge drinking or illicit drug use. When the numbers are that high they are bound to intersect. It is important to understand that substance abuse is a generalized term which can refer to a wide range of unique situations. By working with a qualified legal team and getting much needed help, many families can overcome issues of alcohol and drug abuse before, during, and after a divorce.
Today, our divorce and family law attorneys will discuss substance abuse and divorce, and how drug and alcohol addiction may have an impact on divorce issues including the grounds for divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, division of assets, and more.
Substance Abuse and Divorce: Harding, NJ Divorce Attorneys
Issues with drugs and alcohol are in the same ballpark as financial disputes, adultery, and communication issues when it comes to causing divorce. Furthermore, drug and alcohol problems within a marriage can in fact lead to many of those other underlying issues. Our Harding divorce attorneys have seen substance abuse affect the following aspects of divorce:
- Financial issues – alcohol and drugs are expensive, particularly those which are illegal. It has been estimated that cocaine addicts can spend anywhere from $450 to $1,200 per day. While not all illicit substances carry that extreme price tag, it is easy to see how financials could become strained
- Trust issues – those who are under the influence are not themselves at that time. Similarly, individuals suffering from addiction make it difficult for their friends and family to rely on them
- Parenting issues – for parents, drug and alcohol problems can be have a huge impact on their fitness as a parent
If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction or substance abuse problems, please seek help. Everyone’s life is improved when addiction is treated and individuals are able to return to a healthy life. For more information please navigate to the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services list of hotlines.
Alcohol and Drug Addiction Within Morris County Divorce Proceedings
Even for those who seek help, divorce is sometimes unavoidable. It is important to understand that issues of substance abuse may become issues within your divorce proceedings. Your Morris County divorce attorneys may advise you that drug and alcohol problems may have an impact on issues including but not limited to:
Grounds for divorce – as per New Jersey statutes section 2A:34-2, grounds for fault based divorce include “voluntarily induced addiction or habituation to any narcotic drug” or sustained drinking problems for a minimum of 12 consecutive months.
Child Custody agreements – child custody is determined based on what is best for the children involved. If a judge or mediator feels that the substance abuse issues of a parent will have an impact on his or her ability to parent, then that will be weighted in regards to child custody terms.
Credibility within proceedings – it is also possible that the “word” of individuals with a history of addiction may carry less impact. This is entirely dependent on the nature of your circumstance, your conduct within divorce proceedings, and other factors.
Is Drug and Alcohol Abuse a Factor in your Divorce? Contact our Morristown Divorce and Family Law Lawyers Today
At The Law Offices of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our divorce and family law attorneys have extensive experience serving families across Morris County towns including Morristown, Morris Township, Chester, Chatham, Harding, Mendham, and across all of Northern New Jersey. Our firm is built on a foundation of providing high quality, individualized, and creative legal solutions to our clients. Rather than leaning on litigation only, we strive to seek low-cost, low-stress solutions when possible. However, we are more than qualified to seek formal legal action when necessary.