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What to keep in mind when divorcing an addict

Living with addiction is never easy, especially when it is your spouse. When alcohol or drugs take hold, your partner can seem like a stranger whose actions you fear.

Deciding to move forward with divorcing an addict may seem like a simple solution, but in reality, divorce under any circumstance may be difficult. Divorcing an addict may throw another set of issues into the mix, especially when you still hold out hope for a turnaround.

The addiction is not your fault

When someone is in the throes of addiction, they look outward for blame. If you decide that the best thing for your future is to move on, your spouse may start pointing fingers. He or she may blame you for not supporting attempts at recovery, even if you have, and perhaps even blame you for causing the addiction. Do not accept this type of abuse. Know that you have done what you could and that the issues that caused your spouse's addiction did not begin with you.

Addiction in marriages is rising

The opioid epidemic has touched socioeconomic classes not previously rampant with drug addiction. However, due to their over-prescription and high addiction rate, the number of middle-aged, middle-class adults fighting opioid addiction is staggering. It is also one of the deadliest forms of addiction, with overdoses occurring at alarming rates. Addiction, in general, is the third most often cited reason for divorce.

Children may perpetuate the cycle

If you have children, you know they see and hear everything. If your spouse is an addict, your children may learn the same behavior and continue the cycle. Part of breaking that cycle is removing your children from the environment.

An experienced matrimonial and family law attorney can help you get a custodial and visitation arrangement that minimizes your children's exposure to addictive and abusive behavior. Counseling and support will also help your children cope with an addicted parent.

Addiction is continuing to climb. Unfortunately, not all who suffer from it can find a way out. If you want to save yourself and your children from an unstable and perhaps unsafe situation, divorce may do just that. You deserve to live happily ever after--if you're looking for a way out from a marriage destroyed by addiction, contact an experienced matrimonial and family lawyer for help.

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