One common issue that can lead to a divorce is alcohol abuse by a spouse. Divorce attorneys recognize that when one spouse has an addiction problem for which they will not seek help or from which they cannot recover, the other spouse may seek to terminate the marriage for their own protection as well as that of the couple’s children.
Such circumstances could become challenging or even turn violent. Spouses who want to end their marriage to an alcoholic partner should proceed with caution and obtain the assistance of experienced divorce attorneys as soon as possible.
Staying Safe During The Divorce Process
Getting a divorce is an emotional process for anyone. When a substance abuse problem is fueling the need for the split, divorce attorneys know that things can get even more emotional, sometimes leading to physical altercations. The spouse asking for the divorce must ensure that both he or she and their children will be safe, which can be accomplished by bringing the issue of addiction before the court when the divorce petition is initially filed.
The court can issue a restraining order or an order of protection prohibiting the alcoholic spouse from bothering the other spouse or the children, wasting marital funds, or destroying marital property while the divorce is pending.
In addition, the spouse filing for a dissolution may want to seek the support of close family or friends who can help ensure their safety and prevent any kind of backlash that may be directed toward them once the divorce process begins.
Family Law and Alcohol Abuse
A substance abuse problem is something the court looks at very closely in an effort to make the best decisions in a divorce, especially when dealing with child custody concerns. The court may order random alcohol testing whether or not the addicted spouse is receiving treatment. Any adverse actions displayed by the addicted spouse against the spouse filing for divorce can be used by the court when making decisions.
Even though Texas family law recognizes no-fault divorce and strongly supports it, divorce attorneys point out that a spouse has the right to file fault-based charges on the grounds of emotional or mental cruelty or physical abuse, all of which may be valid issues when one spouse is an addict.
Custody Considerations With An Alcoholic Parent
A spouse’s alcoholism becomes an even greater concern if a couple has children, putting even more strain on the situation. It is commonly recognized that alcoholism can dramatically affect a person’s ability to make rational decisions. Substance abuse problems can also prevent a parent from acting in the best interest of their children or even cause them to unknowingly endanger them.
Based on this knowledge, it is important that a filing spouse work with experienced divorce attorneys who can properly represent such a situation to the courts in order to reach a custody resolution that is in the best interest of the children and the requesting spouse. The Texas family court will make decisions that provide the greatest amount of protection to a child if a parent is found to be a threat due to alcoholism or other substance abuse issues.
Dealing with alcoholism is never easy; neither is ending a marriage. When these things can happen simultaneously, divorce attorneys know that situations may become very heated. Spouses may be in complete disagreement over what is actually going on within the relationship and if splitting up is the answer. This can result in increased upset, anger, or even violence against the filing spouse. For a spouse who needs to end their marriage to an alcoholic spouse, working with lawyers who have experience in these circumstances is essential for the filing spouse and the couple's children.
Garza & Elizondo, LLP
680 East St. Charles St, Suite 600
Brownsville TX 78520
1393 East Alton Floor Blvd, Suite 12
Brownsville TX 78526