Substance Abuse and Divorce in New Jersey

Dealing with a spouse’s substance abuse can be a challenging and overwhelming experience. If you are considering filing for divorce, you may wonder whether courts will take these struggles into account. Though you may have ultimate control over what is discussed during your divorce proceedings, addiction can have substantial consequences that should be considered as you plan your family’s future, especially wen children are involved.

Experienced legal counsel can stand by your side when you want to protect your children and finances from a spouse dealing with addiction. The dedicated divorce attorneys at Moskowitz Law Group, LLC are willing to fight for your and your children’s best interests every step of the way. Schedule a consultation to learn more about substance abuse and divorce in New Jersey.

Substance Abuse as Grounds for Divorce

One spouse’s substance abuse can create problems in a marriage, leading to the decision to divorce. However, New Jersey is a “no-fault” state, meaning that spouses do not need to cite a specific reason or cause for their separation beyond “irreconcilable differences.” As such, there is no need to prove a spouse struggles with substance abuse to be able to file for divorce against them. That said, ancillary issues in the divorce, such as child custody, may require proof of the substance abuse.

Toward this end, you can still pursue a fault-based divorce in certain circumstances, including drug and alcohol abuse. If someone wants to bring their ex-spouse’s substance abuse to the court’s attention when proceeding on a fault-based divorce, they have to provide evidence to support their claims. An experienced legal professional understands the evidence that must be collected to demonstrate that courts should take someone’s substance abuse problems seriously.

The court may order a TASC (Treatment Accountability for Safer Communities) evaluation and risk assessment, which can involve drug testing, to determine how substance abuse should impact divorce proceedings, especially in cases involving child custody. These processes may occur under a protective order so that related documentation does not become part of the public record. The legal team at Moskowitz Law Group can further explain legal procedures for evaluating the role of substance abuse in a New Jersey divorce.

How Substance Abuse Can Impact a Divorce

Substance abuse can create serious problems in a marriage and the terms of a divorce should consider these challenges. A spouse may have overspent or squandered away assets during a marriage to finance their substance use. In these cases, a court may not trust the spouse’s ability to share marital assets after the divorce in good faith and limit access to certain funds after the marriage.

Substance abuse can become an important part of a divorce case when the spouses share children. Custody arrangements and visitation schedules should always prioritize the wellbeing and safety of the children involved. This safety may be at risk when one parent struggles with any form of substance abuse, including alcohol.

When a spouse’s substance abuse puts someone’s children at risk, a New Jersey divorce attorney can request a variety of measures related to child custody and visitation. Courts may order a parent to attend a rehabilitation program or require supervision as conditions for parenting time. In extreme cases, a court may refuse to allow a parent to see their children until they prove they have been substance-free. These sensitive matters may require the input of legal, mental health, and family professionals to reach a resolution.

A New Jersey Attorney Can Help You Through a Divorce Involving Substance Abuse

No one wants to see their loved one struggle with addiction. However, no one wants addiction to hurt their family, either. When you are divorcing a spouse that struggles with substance abuse, it is important that these concerns are brought to a court’s attention while resolving the terms of your separation. These discussions can be vital when discussing issues regarding child custody and visitation.

You do not have to navigate these challenges alone. A compassionate divorce attorney at Moskowitz Law Group, LLC can spearhead the process of requesting a risk assessment and advocating for your needs before a judge. Call today to discuss substance abuse and divorce in New Jersey.

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