Understanding Substance Abuse and its Impact on Divorce in California
Substance abuse is a serious problem that can lead to divorce. Many people find themselves struggling with addiction and, as a result, having difficulty remaining married. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at how substance abuse affects divorce in California and what you can do if you or someone you know is dealing with addiction-related issues.
What Is Substance Abuse?
Substance abuse is a pattern of using drugs or alcohol that interferes with your work, home life, school life, or relationships. When it comes to marriage and divorce in California, substance abuse can be particularly damaging because it often leads to arguments and disagreements between spouses which can then eventually lead to the dissolution of the marriage.
These arguments and disagreements may be born of some of the following issues caused by substance abuse issues:
- Financial challenges
- Trust issues
- Domestic violence instances
Is Substance Abuse Grounds for Divorce in California?
Substance abuse can have a significant impact on the divorce process in California. In this state, which is a “no-fault” divorce state, a spouse or domestic partner asking for a divorce does not need to prove that the other spouse or partner was at fault. However, excessive use of marital funds to support an addiction could result in that party’s share of property distribution being reduced.
The Impact of Substance Abuse on Child Custody Cases
When couples with children decide to get divorced, they must determine who will be granted primary custody of their children. If substance abuse is an issue in your case, it is important to understand how it could affect your child custody proceedings.
Generally speaking, courts take into account any potential harm that substance abuse may cause when determining child custody arrangements—so if you or your spouse has been struggling with an addiction, it is likely that it will play an important part in your case. For instance, the court may restrict overnight visits or only allow for supervised visitation with continued substance abuse testing.
Substance Abuse and Spousal Support Decisions
Spousal support (or alimony) decisions are based on each party’s respective financial needs and abilities. However, if one party has been affected by drug or alcohol addiction during the marriage—for example, if they had difficulty maintaining employment due to their addiction—the court may consider this factor when making spousal support decisions as well. Additionally, if one spouse has been financially supporting the other while they were struggling with addiction during the marriage, they may be entitled to reimbursement from them after the divorce is finalized.
What Can You Do If You Are Struggling with Addiction?
If you are struggling with addiction, it’s important to seek help immediately from a qualified professional who can help you get back on track. If your loved one is going through an addiction-related crisis, they need to get support from family members and friends who understand their situation. Additionally, couples counseling may also be beneficial for both parties so they can better understand each other’s perspective and work toward rebuilding their relationship.
Get Legal Help
Substance abuse plays an important role in divorce proceedings, and its effects can be wide-ranging. While it’s not always possible to avoid these issues when divorcing a spouse with substance abuse, it is possible to take steps to protect your rights through the legal system. With the right help and guidance, you can achieve a successful resolution and move forward with your life.
At Fenchel Family Law PC, our attorneys have years of collective experience, and we take a holistic approach to cases as we understand that divorce can affect multiple areas of your life. If you or your spouse has an addiction issue, you can trust our team will be honest and straightforward when advising you about your rights, options, and potential case outcomes. You can also trust that we will work with your best interest in mind.
Call (415) 805-9069 or reach out online to schedule an initial consultation today.