Legal Implications of Divorcing an Addict
Being married to an addict is never easy. It might have affected your marriage in a number of critical ways. In Texas, getting a divorce from an addict can have several legal implications, including the following:
Custody and visitation
Like most states, Texas family law courts make decisions regarding custody and visitation (known as possession and access) by using the “best interests of the child” standard. This means that the family law courts must consider what is best for the child, not the parents, when determining these important issues.
Substance abuse and alcohol addiction can affect people in a number of ways. The addict may become abusive. The family law judge can consider any history of domestic violence or substance abuse when making decisions regarding possession and access. Additionally, the judge will want to ensure the child is in a stable and safe environment. Substance abuse may impact the judge’s decision to award possession to the non-addict. He or she may also adjust access based on what he or she believes is best for the child.
Substance abuse is also a factor that family law judges can consider when making decisions about how to divide the property between the spouses. In particular, the family law judge can consider if the addiction caused the dissipation or waste of marital assets. A judge may give the non-addict spouse a greater proportion of the assets if he or she considers this a fair resolution given the spouse’s addiction.
Family law judges can also consider dissipation or waste when making decisions regarding spousal support. A judge may give a spouse a more favorable spousal support award if waste occurred. However, it is possible that if a spouse’s addiction impacted the family’s finances that there may simply be less income and ability for the addict to pay. The ability to pay support is a critical component in seeking spousal support. The family law court also considers other factors when awarding spousal support , such as the length of the marriage, any history of domestic violence and the health of the spouse requesting spousal support.