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Substance Abuse Issues And Divorce

Substance abuse is an issue that many people in Washington state struggle with. As many families know, drug abuse and alcoholism can affect financial stability, personal relationships and other areas of life. Substance abuse can also impact divorce.

At Akiona Law, PLLC, in Everett, we help families who are dealing with substance abuse as part of a divorce. Our attorneys offer compassionate, experienced advice on how best to address drug and alcohol abuse in your family law matter. In some cases, working on these issues outside of a courtroom is the better option. We can assist families in these situations with negotiation, mediation or collaborative divorce. Mental health and substance abuse experts may be brought in to help the parties have productive conversations or to determine whether the case is suited to these methods.

Unfortunately, some people wrongfully claim their ex has substance abuse problems as a way to gain leverage in a divorce. If you have been wrongfully accused of abusing drugs or alcohol, we can help.

Substance Abuse And Child Custody

Of all aspects of divorce, child custody is most likely to be impacted by a parent’s substance abuse. When determining or approving a child custody agreement, the court considers the best interests of the child above all else.

When a parent has a substance abuse problem, it can call his or her ability to parent into question. A court may decide that it is in the child’s best interests to not spend time alone with that parent.

In many situations, this means that the parent without substance abuse issues will be awarded sole custody of the child or children.

In cases in which both parents have abuse problems, the court will look to someone else to take over guardianship responsibilities. In some cases, grandparents are awarded custody, and in others third parties may be considered.

We understand the difficulties in creating a parenting plan or visitation schedule when one parent is struggling with addiction. We are here to help you create a residential schedule that will keep your children safe while your spouse gets the treatment he or she needs.

How Addiction Can Affect Property Division

Substance abuse can affect the way a person spends money. If your spouse spent down your assets because of drug or alcohol problems, it can factor into your final divorce settlement.

In some situations, if a judge finds that a party wasted a significant portion of the community assets towards supporting his or her addiction, the court may find it is fair and equitable to award the other party a larger portion of the joint property.

Learn How We Can Help In An Initial Consultation

We are ready to help you handle substance abuse and addiction issues in your family law case. To discuss your situation with our experienced lawyers, please send us an email or call us at 425-740-2209. We help people from the Everett (Snohomish County) and Seattle (King County) areas.