How Can I Prove Substance Abuse in a Divorce Case?

substance abuse

Being married to someone with a substance abuse problem can be draining and dangerous. When you get out of that situation by divorcing them, it can be a weight off of your shoulders. Do you need to show that your spouse has a problem though? Is it like building a criminal case against them? Not exactly, but a Morton divorce lawyer can help you figure out what should be done and if this problem should affect your divorce agreement.

What Evidence of Substance Abuse Can Be Used in Court?

If you suspect that your spouse has a substance abuse problem, you can make that point during your divorce proceedings. You cannot just fling mud and hope that it sticks though. The judge is unlikely to respond well if you do not have evidence that can be used to back up your assertions. You can make use of:

  • Your spouse’s record if the court has ordered them into treatment programs before
  • Work records that include discipline for substance abuse or failed drug test results
  • Medical records that indicate a struggle with drugs or alcohol
  • Witness testimony
  • Arrest records, like DUI or drug possession charges

Any of these can help you make your case, but you should think about why you are doing this in the first place. You do not need to prove that your spouse has a problem in order to get divorced. Their substance abuse problem is unlikely to affect matters like property distribution unless they frittered away marital assets due to their issues. You can divorce for irreconcilable differences and call it a day.

Can I Make My Former Spouse Take a Drug Test?

In some cases, yes. If you have enough evidence that your spouse has a substance abuse problem, you may be able to convince the judge to order a drug test. This can be used to definitively prove whether or not there is an issue here.

How Can Substance Abuse Affect Visitation and Custody Rights?

As we mentioned, you do not have to show that your spouse has a problem with drugs or alcohol if you want a divorce. However, if you have children and fear for their safety then that could be a good reason to approach your divorce from this angle.

If your children might not be safe with your spouse, that needs to be addressed. If your spouse wants visitation or custody, they can go through a treatment problem and your agreement can be revisited later.

Talk to an Attorney Today

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, contact Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C. We can schedule a consultation and tell you more about the process and what our attorneys can do to assist you. You do not have to go through this all on your own.

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