Addiction involves the compulsive indulgence in certain behaviors despite the fact that they can cause harm to the person doing them or to their broader social network, including their immediate family members.
People develop both psychological and physical addictions. Gambling and pornography can lead to psychological addictions. Alcohol and pain medication can lead to physical addiction.
Any form of chemical dependence or addictive behavior can adversely affect a marriage. There are steps you can take to protect yourself when you choose to divorce an addict.
Protect yourself financially
Those struggling with addiction who go through a difficult time may succumb to their worst impulses, endangering themselves and diminishing whatever property they hold. Taking steps to secure financial support or certain assets for yourself early in the divorce can protect you from your spouse wasting that property and leaving you with less than you deserve.
Shield your children from inappropriate behavior
One of the worst things about addiction is the impact that it can have on the children in your family. It can completely alter their perception of a parent they adore or make them feel as though their home is no longer a safe place.
Whether you need to move out of your home, push for sole custody or ask for supervised visitation, limiting how much access to and control over the children your co-parent has will make the transition easier. If they get treatment, it’s always possible to revise and increase their parenting rights.
Address the emotional damage
Any children you share with your spouse will struggle with a divorce, and you will too. Going to a support group for those who love someone with an addiction or seeing a therapist can help you handle your own emotional responses to this difficult situation and help set you up for a happier future.
Protecting yourself during a divorce from an addicted spouse will help you establish a solid foundation for a better future for yourself and your children.