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How Substance Abuse Can Complicate Divorce

By Brian | Uncategorized | August 25, 2020
How Substance Abuse Can Complicate Divorce
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Substance abuse can cause many complications in an already stressful divorce case, including property division and child custody. It can always help to have the help of the right divorce attorney in a divorce involving addiction. 

Substance abuse is a common problem in a marriage that can lead to divorce. However, even after you decide to end your marriage with an addict, you might still have a long road ahead of you before your divorce is finalized. Just as marriage to someone who is dependent on alcohol or drugs, so can be divorce. It is important that you have the assistance of the right Charlotte divorce attorney throughout every stage of your case. 

Financial Issues

There is no doubt that substance abuse can be expensive. In some situations, a spouse might deplete your marital assets, as well as rack up debt to cover the costs of their addiction. If this is the case in your marriage, the issue should be raised as part of your divorce case.

Generally speaking, divorcing spouses in North Carolina divide their marital property, assets, and debts in an equitable manner. If your spouse wasted marital funds on substance abuse or withheld income from the family to pay for drugs or alcohol, you should be entitled to a greater portion of the remaining marital estate. You also should not be held responsible for credit card balances of other debts incurred due to your spouse’s addiction. 

Child Custody Concerns

Substance abuse can often take over a person’s life and priorities. When you are married and living together, you might work hard to ensure your children receive the care they need, despite your spouse’s substance abuse problem. However, once you are divorced, if you share physical custody, your children will stay alone with your ex-spouse. You might have serious concerns about their well-being and safety if this happens. 

In extreme cases, a judge might find that it is best for one parent to have sole custody of the children, and allow a parent with substance dependency to visit with the children. This can be a stressful undertaking, and your attorney can advise you whether this might be right in your situation.  


Aside from legal aspects of your divorce, it can be challenging to go through the divorce process with an addict, as they can be unreliable and unpredictable. Your spouse might not show up to court dates or mediation, might deny their substance problems, and might act out of spite instead of cooperating during the divorce process. This can all make the process even more stressful, and it can result in delays and unnecessary costs. Having a divorce attorney handling your negotiations can help remove the emotion from the situation, and hopefully resolve your case with as little stress as possible. Your attorney can also advise you when a settlement does not seem possible and can represent you in court. 

Contact a Charlotte Divorce Attorney for a Consultation

At Blood Law, we know that each divorce has its own complications, and we help clients through even the most challenging divorce cases. Contact us online or call 704.256.5232 to learn more about our Charlotte divorce attorneys and how we can assist you with your case. 

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