In the United States, there are about 24 million married people who are either an addict or married to one. Spousal addiction hurts both spouses and can erode the bond of matrimony. At its core, addiction involves deception, and the addict often attempts to hide evidence of their addiction as well as the amount of money they are spending on drugs or alcohol. Over time, this dishonesty breaks trust, which is the foundation of a good marriage.
Most people contemplating divorce spend a couple years considering their options. If the reason you are considering a divorce is related to addiction, the worst thing to do is to give up and do nothing. It is important to address the addiction before making any final decisions about divorce. If the addicted spouse is willing to attempt treatment, you may want to consider this option before making any decisions about divorce.
Addiction in Divorce Proceedings
If the addicted spouse is unwilling to attempt treatment, then divorce may be inevitable. In a divorce, an addiction is likely to be considered. A judge may be more apt to award full child custody to the non-addicted spouse, and only allow the addicted spouse to have supervised visitation with mandatory drug testing. In addition, the financial costs of addiction may be used as grounds for reimbursement in the form of alimony, or the sober spouse may receive a greater share of marital properties.
Addiction After Divorce
A recent study has found that there is a potential association between divorce and the onset of substance abuse.
On top of financial concerns, new living arrangements, and complex custody and care arrangements, divorce often takes a serious emotional toll on a person. The end of a marriage signals the loss of a support system, which can leave divorcees in a depressive state.
Dealing with divorce impacts the brain’s chemistry and causes an influx of stress hormones; this can cause anxiety, fear, loss of appetite, insomnia, and can impair concentrating and rational thinking. Some people dealing with these changes resort to using alcohol or drugs to cope.
Dealing with Emotions and Reducing the Risk of Addiction
Allowing emotions to be expressed can be a helpful outlet. Loneliness can fuel addiction. Although it can be difficult to socialize at this time, social isolation can worsen stress. If you are really struggling, consider seeking out the company of friends, and consulting with a professional social worker or psychologist.
Stress eases over time. Try being patient with yourself and develop new and fun habits. Practice self-care with nutritious meals, adequate sleep, and some exercise. These efforts can help you normalize your mood, and can also reduce the risk of addiction.
South Jersey Divorce Lawyers at Burnham Douglass Help Those Going Through a Difficult Divorce
Divorce is stressful and can be made worse if you are unclear on your objectives and how to attain them. Our experienced South Jersey divorce lawyers at Burnham Douglass have your best interests at heart and will offer advice on a wide-range of divorce-related matters. Contact us online or call us for a free initial consultation. With offices located in Marlton and Northfield, New Jersey, we also serve clients in the South Jersey area, including those in Camden County, Burlington County, Gloucester County, Mercer County, and Atlantic County.