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How can addiction affect the divorce process?

When one spouse has an addiction problem it could actually contribute to the end of a marriage. Addiction is an illness that rears many ugly heads and, sadly, also one that leads to the divorce of many Michigan couples. The problems addiction creates within an intimate partnership might also be felt as the couple goes through the divorce process.

Financial and legal backlashes

Those who marry someone who has addiction problems regarding drugs, alcohol, gambling, among others, may find they have already been affected by issues related to the law and to finances. For instance, such a spouse may have to pay the fines or other costs his or her spouse incurred.

Trust is impacted by addiction

Negotiating a divorce takes a certain amount of trust and when a spouse has had that trust pummeled by addiction issues, it could be very difficult to trust anything an addicted spouse says. When trust isn’t present during negotiations, unfortunately, the case may have to be decided by a family court judge who will decide on the division of property. Incidentally, if the spouse suffering from the addition has racked up debt in both spouse’s names or in the other’s spouse’s name, the non-addicted spouse could be on the line for paying it. Creditors don’t care who pays the debt as long as it gets paid.

If the couple has children, there might even be more complications surrounding custody and visitation. Michigan makes it clear that the best interests of the children must always come first and if they are put in harm’s way because of a parent’s addiction, it may be the parent’s visitation rights could be affected. Michigan residents going through these types of difficulties may wish to discuss how the divorce process might be affected with a family law attorney. He or she may be able to suggest different way of dealing with the issues during and after divorce.

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