When drug charges and divorce collide

If you use drugs, you may find that they impact every aspect of your life. Struggling with an addiction and facing criminal charges are difficult situations on their own, but when a family is in the picture, it may be even worse. Not only can your addiction lead to a divorce, but it can seriously affect how the divorce plays out.

Prior or ongoing drug charges may negatively affect child custody, spousal support and property division. Here are some potential ways your substance abuse may have an effect on your divorce proceedings.

Child custody

One area where a drug problem may have a heavy influence is child custody. While a conviction from 10 years ago that you received for possessing a small amount of marijuana likely will not have a significant effect, a continual drug issue will be an important consideration for the courts. Depending on the severity of your addiction, you may lose custody altogether. The main concern of the court is the safety of your child and your ability to be a good parent. 

Spousal support

If you have a drug addiction, chances are it costs you a lot of money. A drug problem that drains your marital finances may cause you to have a costly alimony order. If the judge determines that your spouse is losing money because of your drug charges, you may need to pay up in the form spousal support. On the other hand, if you are getting treatment for your addiction, there is a chance your sober spouse may need to cover some of your costs via spousal support.

Property division

It is possible that your spouse will get more property if your drug abuse had a negative impact on your finances. For example, if you spent a significant amount of your savings on drugs, the court may want to award your spouse with more assets as reimbursement.

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