Married people who suffer from addiction never suffer alone. The negative effects of addiction to drugs or alcohol tend to seep into every aspect of an addict’s life, and those closest to them often take the hardest hit. Over time, the destructive nature of addiction can tear a family apart and sadly, divorce becomes the only way out. Our Towson divorce lawyers have helped countless individuals break free from the path of destruction brought upon them by their substance-abusing spouse. Though no written advice can take the place of a personal consultation with a qualified divorce attorney, we have provided our best tips for those contemplating a divorce due to the issues that arise from substance abuse.
Give Yourself Permission to Let Go
Taking the first step towards ending your marriage is often the hardest part. You may feel as though you are abandoning your loved one, or that if you stay long enough, you can make your spouse change. Sadly though, love is not enough to save your partner from the grip of addiction, and change only comes to those who want it. Divorce does not have to mean that you no longer love the person you married; only that you have decided not to allow their addiction to destroy the lives and future of yourself and your children.
Dealing with Domestic Violence
Unfortunately, physical and emotional abuse often goes hand in hand with substance abuse. Individuals under the influence of drugs or alcohol are more inclined to destructive, aggressive behavior and may not be aware of, or even remember, their actions. This; however, is no excuse. If you have been the victim of domestic violence, it is critical that you take steps to protect yourself and your children from further harm. Do not discuss divorce with your spouse while he is drunk or high, but rather make a plan for leaving safely. Know where you will go and take some contingency funds, credit cards, and most importantly, your children with you.
Protect your Assets
If your spouse has been dealing with a substance abuse problem for any length of time, it is likely that your financial situation has already been affected. Do not allow your spouse’s addiction to further deplete your marital assets. A Towson divorce lawyer can help you take the necessary steps to protect your financial future. For now, begin to gather and make copies of financial statements and other important documents. You may also want to consider separating your bank accounts.
Find the Right Support and be Willing to Accept It
It is not uncommon for the spouse of an addict to want to hide their family troubles from the outside world, whether out of loyalty, shame or fear of being bombarded with unwanted advice. But once you have made the decision to end your marriage and start your life anew, you are going to need the support of others. Confide in a trusted friend, or seek out a support group or therapist specializing in substance abuse matters. It is also important to talk to a qualified divorce lawyer who can guide you and be an advocate for you throughout the divorce process.
Towson Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles Provide Top Quality Legal Services in a Caring and Supportive Environment
The decision to divorce is never easy, but in a situation wherein one spouse has been overcome by addition, it is often the best decision for all involved. Our Towson divorce lawyers understand the struggles you have endured, and we are ready to help you move on to the next chapter of your life. At Huesman, Jones Miles, we assist Maryland families in all divorce matters, including spousal support and alimony, division of property, and issues related to child custody and child support. If needed, we can also help you obtain protective orders for you and your children. Call 443-589-0150 today to arrange your confidential consultation with one of our compassionate and dedicated Towson divorce lawyers or contact us online.