Addiction is one of the more common reasons that people file for divorce. When your spouse spends a huge amount of money and alcohol every week, when they bring illegal drugs into your home or when they can’t stop gambling, your entire family is in danger.
There is the financial instability that such addiction inevitably causes to consider. Then there is the possibility of criminal actors coming after your spouse because they owe money or have involvement in the drug trade. Finally, there is the unquestionably negative impact that drug use, drunkenness and other forms of addiction have on people’s behavior.
How can you protect your children from your ex if you choose to divorce because of their addiction?
Document the issue well before you file
Once you start living separately, it will be much harder for you to prove to the courts that your ex has a problem. While you still cohabitate, you have greater access to their daily behavior and financial records.
You can make copies of records to show how much money they waste, keep written records of how they disappear for long amounts of time or record how they treat the children while under the influence. Detailed records about a drinking binge or the way they passed out in the garage will help you show a pattern of behavior that doesn’t just prove your ex has a problem but also that they aren’t safe enough to take care of the children.
Leaving your kids with an addict might mean that your children are in a very dangerous situation. Showing that your ex can’t put the children before their own bad habits could convince the court to limit their parents in time.
Get the children support as soon as possible
Dealing with an addicted parent does psychological damage. The same is true of parental divorce, even when it occurs for very good reasons.
Your children will struggle to process all of these big, painful changes. The best option for them may be to join a support group or for you to get them into counseling. There are special groups for the family members of those addicted to drugs or alcohol, as well as counselors who focus on this kind of trauma and abandonment.
Recognizing the dangerous implications of your spouse’s addiction can help you push for the best child custody outcome possible in your divorce.