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Substance Abuse

Does Substance Abuse Impact Divorce & Child Custody Proceedings?

If you are going through a divorce with a spouse who suffers from substance abuse problems, it is important to know that their addiction can impact the outcome of your divorce and child custody proceedings. Below, we explain what you might encounter in court when you divorce a person with substance abuse issues.

Child Custody Cases

If you have children, your spouse’s substance abuse issues will be taken seriously by the court because it can impair the parent’s ability to care for their children. You will also be more likely to be awarded custody of your children if your spouse suffers from addiction.

The goal of a judge in a child custody case is to make sure the best interests of the children are protected. If one parent has a substance abuse problem, the judge will likely rule against 50/50 custody. But if your spouse decides to enter into a rehab program to get help with their addiction, the court might look more favorably on them, which can sway your case in the other direction.

Divorce Issues

In some states, judges can consider a person’s addiction when determining asset distribution in a divorce case. This means the sober spouse can end up with more assets if they can prove their ex’s addiction negatively impacted the couple’s finances. A court might also require litigants to be drug tested or undergo regular breathalyzer testing as part of the divorce case. It is important to note that you need to provide a judge with a high burden of proof if you are going to convince them that your spouse should receive mandatory drug testing.

Do you have more questions about how your spouse’s addiction might impact your divorce proceedings? Then call (515) 305-3474 to schedule your free consultation with our family law attorneys in Des Moines.