Three Ways Substance Abuse Can Interfere With Your Illinois Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

st. charles divorce lawyerAlong with infidelity, conflict, and financial disagreements, substance abuse is one of the top contributors to divorce in Illinois. Overdose deaths in the United States surged past the 100,000 mark in 202 and heavy drinking is responsible for another nearly 100,000 premature deaths in the U.S. every year. 

Whether because of alcohol or drug use, there is no question that substance abuse can interfere with a marriage to the point that the marriage irretrievably breaks down. This can have a profound effect on spouses during a marriage, but children are perhaps the most affected by a parent with a substance use disorder. If you are getting divorced in Illinois and you or your spouse is struggling with substance abuse, here are three areas of your divorce that may be affected. 

Asset Division

Because substance abuse is often so deeply intertwined with poor financial decisions, spouses often secretly use savings, loans, or other sources of income to finance their addiction and leave a marriage in dire financial straits. If a spouse has depleted a couple’s finances to purchase drugs or alcohol, a judge may allocate a greater amount of marital assets to the other spouse to make up for the irresponsible behavior. 

Parenting Arrangements 

A parent who is regularly under the influence of drugs or alcohol is unlikely to be able to care properly for a child. They may be an active danger to the child’s well-being, especially if a parent has a tendency to drive under the influence. Without active participation in rehabilitation programs and a clear move towards improvement, a parent who struggles with substance use disorders may only get supervised parenting time or no parenting time at all. This can have a long-term impact on the quality of the parent-child relationship and parents with substance abuse issues should weigh carefully how their behavior could affect their child. 

Spousal and Child Support

Substance abuse and the problems that come with it do not excuse someone from making their court-ordered spousal and child support payments. If substance abuse interferes with a spouse’s ability to get or keep a job and they fail to pay child support, they may find court sanctions, fines, and jail time added to their list of existing problems. Illinois takes the wellbeing of children seriously and can implement far-reaching punishments when a parent will not meet their financial obligations to their child. 

Talk to a Skilled St. Charles Divorce Lawyer

The challenges of divorce can often compound the difficulties of effectively managing addiction or substance abuse. If you are getting divorced in Illinois and are worried that substance abuse could affect your parenting time or parenting rights, seek help from an experienced St. Charles divorce attorney with Shaw Sanders, P.C.. We offer a non-judgemental environment and advocate passionately for all of our clients. Call us today at 630-584-5550 and schedule your free initial case review. 




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