A spouse’s addiction is one of the many reasons for filing for divorce. When your spouse can no longer control their behavior due to their addiction, which results in physical and mental harm to you and the rest of the family, letting go is sometimes the best option.
Accordingly, raising children is a major concern when dealing with an addicted coparent. Nonetheless, while the court has the final say on custody arrangements, you can raise your concerns during and after the divorce about the addiction and how it will affect your child’s well-being.
Acknowledge the obvious before and during the divorce
During the divorce, your addicted spouse may try to convince you or the court that there is no problem by downplaying their addiction behaviors. Being able to acknowledge and accept your spouse’s substance abuse disorder will help you stand your ground in court, especially when raising concerns over custody and visitation arrangements.
Take control of what you can after the divorce
Let us say the court awards joint custody or visitation rights to your ex, but you believe they are still suffering from addiction, which endangers your child’s well-being. In this case, you can seek to modify the parenting order to restrict your ex’s parenting time.
The court will only allow the restriction if it shows that time with the other parent endangers the child’s physical, emotional and mental well-being. Hence, it is crucial for you to submit evidence supporting your claim. You can document signs of neglect, abuse or violence, such as drunk driving with the child in the vehicle, passing out or being in a stupor while in custody of the child and physical or verbal abuse to the child.
It can be complicated and overwhelming to deal with a coparent suffering from an addiction, especially when you have to consider your child during the process. Nevertheless, you must know your rights and options to protect yourself and your child.