The Challenge of Divorcing an Addict
Most marriages face difficult times at one point or another. That’s life. But when one spouse is addicted to drugs or alcohol, the problems that ensue can become too much to bear. This often leads to divorce, which has its own set of challenges, particularly if one spouse is an addict. Surrounding yourself with supportive family and friends is important at this time, as is seeking the counsel of a divorce attorney experienced in handling divorces where addiction is involved.
No fault divorce in Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a “no fault” divorce state, so one spouse cannot legally blame the other spouse for the failure of the marriage, even if the spouse’s addiction contributed to the fallout. Couples do not need to provide a specific reason for wanting a divorce, other than to state that the marriage is beyond repair. Couples may also file for divorce if they have been legally separated for a period of at least 12 months.
Addiction or substance abuse may play a part in the divorce agreement
When evaluating a divorce order, the Wisconsin court does not consider factors such as spousal infidelity, financial problems, medical illness, or drug addiction. The issue of fault does not come into play. However, the impact that any of these behaviors or situations may have had on the finances of the marriage may be considered when making decisions regarding division of property and other matters in the divorce agreement.
When making decisions concerning child custody and child support, the Wisconsin courts – like other states – are guided by what is deemed to be in the best interests of the child first. If there are issues concerning a parent’s mental health, drug addiction, alcohol addiction or other matters that may affect their parenting abilities, those will be taken into consideration by the courts.
Divorcing an addict is a challenge; let us help
When divorcing an addict, you face additional challenges. In a “no fault” state like Wisconsin, your spouse’s substance abuse will not be cited as a reason for the divorce. However, the drug or alcohol addiction can be introduced as evidence as it relates to child custody, child support, visitation, and other matters in the divorce. Let us help you through the divorce process. At the family law firm of Bandle & Zaeske, LLP, our dedicated, skilled divorce attorneys have been helping Wisconsin families for more than 50 years combined. Our team is experienced in all matters concerning divorce in Wisconsin, guiding our clients with compassion and understanding. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation and learn how we might help; contact our Milwaukee office at 414-359-1424 or contact us online.