In the majority of states, even those without “at fault” rules, having a spouse who is addicted to drugs or alcohol gives you an opportunity to pursue a divorce with no waiting period. Addiction is usually grounds for divorce and, if you can prove that it is habitual, may be used to end your marriage sooner than if it wasn’t an issue.
Many people struggle with the idea of getting a divorce because their spouses have addictions. Why? On one hand, they promised to care for each other in sickness and in health. On the other, they are dealing with the reality that their spouse is in the grips of addiction and may not be able to turn their lives around.
It’s impossible to control what other people do. If you’ve talked to your spouse about their drinking or drug-seeking behaviors and they are not committed to making a change, then it may be the right time to get a divorce.
Addiction and divorce are common in the United States
Approximately 24 million Americans or more are dealing with addictions to drugs or alcohol. In the United States, approximately 41% of all first marriages result in divorces. Combined with second, third and even fourth divorces, a divorce happens around once every 36 seconds in the U.S.
Living with someone who has an addiction may increase the potential for divorce. People with drug or alcohol addictions may spend 50% or more of their income on those substances, causing financial stress within the marriage. Domestic abuse is also more common in relationships with addictions, and instances of domestic violence often lead to divorce and legal complications.
No matter who you are, you should not have to deal with domestic violence, substance abuse or other issues that could negatively impact you and your life. Financial insecurity, violence and other complications of substance abuse can drag down couples and leave the nonaddicted spouse struggling, but it is your right to look into divorcing if you need to. If you’re ready to move on from this relationship, your attorney can help you gather information and prepare a case for court.