As a Chicago divorce lawyer, I find that an alcoholic husband or wife is one of the hardest situations for a person to deal with in a divorce. Often a person married to an alcoholic will feel like the situation is unfair. And it probably is. That’s why a fresh start may be the best thing.
Problems with kids and custody
An alcoholic parent is normally a bad parent. Even if the alcoholic is not abusive, it is likely that he or she is not putting a full effort towards parenting. When a parent is an alcoholic, alcohol-related problems can translate into restricted visitation or parenting time.
Domestic violence in the marriage
Domestic violence is a factor judges use to determine who should be the primary residential parent. It also influences visitation decisions.
When someone is married to an alcoholic, they are often worried about the alcoholic using violence against them. This goes for men and women. However, a person married to an alcoholic should also worry about being falsely accused of domestic violence.
Addicts are notorious liars and may fabricate being the victim of an attack. Or, the alcoholic may attack the other spouse; leaving that spouse to defend himself or herself – only to find that the alcoholic claimed the other spouse’s self-defense was actually an unwarranted attack.
Financial issues with alcoholics
If a person is married to an alcoholic, and is thinking about divorce, it maybe a good idea to get out of the marriage as soon as possible. Consider the following:
- Money wasted: Addicts will waste any amount of money feeding their addictions. If you divorce an addict sooner rather than later, you will possibly prevent more of your money from being wasted.
- Job loss in future: An alcoholic who has a job might lose that job and then to be entitled to more spousal support ( formally known as alimony). This is why it can be a good idea to ditch a spouse before a foreseeable job loss.
- Currently unemployed: If an alcoholic does not have a job in claims to be unable to get one, the alcoholic may also get a higher percentage of the marital is estate when the property is divided.
- Treatment/Rehabilitation: The alcoholic may need treatment for which the other spouse may be obligated to pay, per court order. If someone is married to an alcoholic that is somewhat functioning, getting divorced before the alcoholic becomes non-functioning could potentially help the non-alcoholic spouse being on the hook for costly treatment and rehabilitation bills.