Protecting your children when divorcing an addicted spouse
Addiction to drugs or alcohol won’t just hurt those who can’t go more than a few hours without their substance of choice. It can also do serious damage to their family members as well.
Obviously, the cost of feeding an addiction diminishes the resources available to a family. However, both the addiction and the effects of the drug can also prevent a parent from being fully present and available for their children. An addict is often only half-present in their own life and family.
If you intend to divorce your spouse because they can’t stop drinking or abusing drugs, you may also need to ask the courts to protect your children from the dangers of your co-parent’s alcohol or chemical dependence.
Addiction limits parenting ability
Different drugs affect people in different ways. Some substances will render people unconscious or unable to properly respond in an emergency. Others may give people too much energy and anxiety, making them unpredictable and frenetic. Any mind-altering substance can also diminish someone’s self-control and lead to them acting impulsively.
An addicted parent could pass out, become abusive or expose their children to substances that could endanger them. They might take their children to dangerous places or leave them with unsafe adults. Provided that you can show the family court some kind of proof about your spouse’s addiction issues, they may agree with you that limiting parenting time is what is best for the children.
Asking for sole custody or limited parental access for your co-parent until they complete substance abuse counseling or rehabilitation can help protect your children from a potentially dangerous shared custody arrangement with a parent incapable of caring for them.