Can I Divorce My Spouse for Being Addicted to Drugs?
Being in a long term relationship with someone who has a drug problem can be a draining, stressful, and painful way to live your life. If you love the other person, you always try to do what you can to help them get better and back on track.
Unfortunately, there comes a point at which it is no longer viable to stay with the person as things get worse for the both of you. If you find yourself in a situation like this, there are ways to deal with it within New Jersey law.
I am Ready to Start the Divorce Process: What do I do?
Before starting your divorce process, the main thing you have to think about first is the cause of action for your divorce. In other words, what is the reason for your divorce that you will tell the courts?
If your partner’s drug addiction is the main reason for wanting a divorce, you can use this as grounds for your filing. However, this requires that you prove in the court of law that they have had a dependency on drugs or alcohol for 12 consecutive months prior to you filing the divorce papers. This can be a difficult feat. Because of this, filing for divorce on the basis of addiction problems is not actually common in New Jersey.
What do I do if I Cannot Prove My Spouse is a Drug Addict?
There are two main options:
- File for divorce on the grounds of extreme cruelty. This entails proving that coexisting with your drug-addicted spouse is damaging to your mental health, safety, or well-being, and not necessarily proving addiction to drugs.
- File for divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. This entails proving that you and your spouse have not been getting along for at least six months. This is the easiest way to obtain divorce. However, it generally requires the cooperation of your spouse.
If you explain your situation with your attorney, the two of you can work out the option that best works for you.
What About My Children?
Divorce is obviously a lot more complex when you have children – not just because of the emotional pain, but because of deciding custody afterward. When the court decides who gets custody of your children, they will consider a few different factors in regards to your drug-addicted spouse:
- Does their addiction impair their ability to be a good parent?
- Does their addiction endanger their children?
- Would circumstances change should they go through treatment?
- Are they fit for unsupervised visits, supervised visits, or any at all?
If you feel that your partner will become abusive or dangerous when they find out you are divorcing them, speak with your attorney so you can work out a strategy to leave your spouse in a safe way.
Do You Need to Divorce Your Drug-Addicted Spouse?
If it is time for you to finally leave your drug-addicted spouse, contact Giro, LLP, Attorneys At Law today. We will help you get through this difficult time in a safe, smooth manner so you can move on with your life.