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Divorce, Alcoholism and Drug Use

alcoholism and divorce

When a spouse turns to alcohol and drug use to deal with problems, the effects can be devastating to both the individual and the family. Alcoholism and drug addiction often cause financial problems and family negligence. 

At its worst, addiction can cause the spouse to behave erratically, or even violently. This leaves the sober spouse in a difficult situation. He or she may want to stay in the marriage to provide support and stability for the addict out of love, however, if the addicted spouse is abusive towards him or her, or the children, divorce may be the safest and only option.

Does Alcoholism and Drug Use Play a Factor in Divorce?

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence calls drug and alcohol addiction a “family disease,” due to the strife and instability an addicted individual can cause. According to a 2014 study by the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, alcohol dependence has a significant impact in divorce rates and relationships in general. also cites addiction as one of the most common factors in divorce. Marriage can be a difficult journey for the healthiest of couples, but once alcoholism and drug addiction come into the picture, the ensuing financial and family problems significantly increase the potential for divorce.

Addiction and Divorce in North Carolina

North Carolina ranks 36th in the nation when it comes to divorce rates. Excessive use of alcohol or drugs is acceptable grounds for divorce in the state of North Carolina. According to AA-Carolina, as many as 457,000 individuals in the state of North Carolina suffer from addiction. With addiction being a “family disease,” imagine that number doubled or tripled, since it’s not just the addicted individual that suffers. If you are using addiction as grounds for a divorce in North Carolina, be prepared to cite examples of addiction or alcoholism impacting you and your family financially and emotionally. You may need others to testify that they’ve also witnessed the harmful affects of addiction. Drug and alcohol testing may also be needed during the divorce proceedings. If child custody is in play the addicted spouse may need to prove they are getting treatment or be obligated to take sobriety tests in order to see the children. Please be sure to address all of these issues with an experienced family attorney before filing for divorce from an addicted spouse.

Where to Go for Help

Addiction is a heartbreaking disease. Getting help for yourself or your partner can make all the difference and should absolutely be the first priority when addiction is affecting your marriage and family. AA-Carolina provides assistance for individuals addicted to alcohol. There are also many addiction treatment centers in North Carolina. There is sure to be one close to you. Al-Anon and Nar-Anon are helpful to family members dealing with an alcoholic or drug addict in their life. Unless you are in a dangerous situation, please get help from these organizations before contacting a divorce attorney. It could save an addict's life AND save your marriage!

Let our Raleigh Divorce Lawyers Help You

If alcohol and drug use has infiltrated your marriage and family to the point of divorce, our experienced attorneys can help. The safety and well-being of you and your family is our top priority. Addiction is a heart-wrenching disease that makes divorce even more difficult emotionally. Let our team help make the process as easy as possible for you and your family. We will safeguard your legal rights, assets, alimony, child custody, and child support.

Schedule a consultation or give us a call at 919-301-8843 to take the first steps towards a new life. Don’t stress about the ins and outs of filing for divorce in North Carolina. We are here to help you!

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