Addiction is often a reason for divorce, whether it is an addiction to alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography, or any other addiction. At Martinez Legal, P.C., we have had clients who are addicted as well as clients whose spouse is the one with an addiction problem. The most important consideration in this scenario is what is the best interest of the children and how they are to be protected.
If our client is dealing with an addiction, the first thing we do is put them in touch with a counselor. Depending on the type of addiction, we may also put them in touch with outpatient or inpatient rehabilitation services. We let the professionals decide how to help.
An addiction can hurt child custody and/or visitation matters. Judges do not want children to spend unsupervised time with a parent suffering a serious addiction problem. This type of situation can put the children’s safety in jeopardy.
Judges also recognize that human beings will have problems. If the person who has a problem is getting help, Judges look more favorably on the situation than if a person refuses to acknowledge their problem and refuses to get any professional help overcoming it.
When our client is concerned about the addiction problem of their spouse, we generally call the opposing counsel and try to come to an agreement about putting safeguards in place to protect the children. If we cannot reach an agreement, we will go to court and ask for an emergency order that prohibits the other spouse from being alone with the children without supervision. For instance, we do not want them driving with the children if they are unable to remain sober.
In addition to needing such an order to keep the children safe, it also gives our client peace of mind when boundaries are in place and in knowing that visits will be limited, for example, to only supervised visits. Visits can also be limited by the Court to, for example, only two hours a week. The court may even choose to issue an injunction against the use of drugs or alcohol.
If addiction is an issue in the divorce case, a parent needs to put the children first. If one parent ignores the addiction of the other parent, and does nothing about it, child protective services (CPS) may get involved. A parent who knows about the danger to the children presented by the addiction of the other parent, and does nothing about it, is as much of a concern for the court as is the addicted parent.This is the time to consult an attorney. Contact us at Martinez Legal, P.C. to learn about your options. We help our clients make the right decisions with respect to their unique