Do I Need to Prove Substance Abuse For My Divorce Case?

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Proving your spouse’s substance abuse during your divorce case is paramount in ensuring a fair outcome of litigation. To acquire the skills of an experienced attorney, contact a Shelby County, Tennessee divorce lawyer today.

Is Tennessee a Fault State?

Tennessee is a mixed state when it comes to divorce. In a no-fault state, you don’t have to prove any particular reason to file for divorce. If you’re no longer compatible or the marriage is broken beyond repair, that is reason enough. However, TN is not a true no-fault state. You can also file for a fault-based divorce where a court will consider the behavior of each spouse when making important decisions during litigation.

A court or judge will decide who gets custody of the children involved, how assets are divided, and if one spouse will receive alimony payments. If one spouse has a substance abuse issue it may be relevant to how a court makes the aforementioned decisions, so it’s important to prove the substance abuse of a spouse when filing for a fault-based divorce.

How Can Substance Abuse Impact a Marriage?

Addiction is not pretty. No matter what kind of drugs or alcohol a person is hooked on, substance abuse can have nasty side effects that can be detrimental to a marriage and family. If one spouse is an addict, they may behave in ways that a sober person would not. Addiction is a disease and an addict might do whatever is necessary to get their next fix. This can put a strain on their relationship with their significant other and children in the following ways.

  • The family may face financial struggles due to wasting money on drugs and/or alcohol. This can result in struggling to pay bills and having needs go unmet.
  • The addict may begin to verbally abuse their partner and/or children, causing emotional distress and resentment.
  • The addict may begin to physically abuse their partner and/or children, causing injury due to violence and aggression. This will undoubtedly cause an unsafe environment and lead to fear and animosity.

All of the above will surely lead to a family unraveling. Addiction can cause what should be a safe family home to feel like a volatile war zone. If there is no trust or respect in the house then the other spouse may have to file for divorce to ensure their safety and the safety of their child(ren).

How Can I Prove Substance Abuse During My Divorce Proceedings?

Proving substance abuse is vital to a divorce case. You should obtain help from an experienced attorney and explain the situation. You will work with them to gather and organize compelling evidence that may be relevant in proving the substance abuse of your spouse, including:

  • Financial statements
  • Medical records
  • Police reports
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Eyewitness testimony

Your attorney will represent you in court and present your evidence to the judge so they can see the impact the substance abuse has had on you and your relationship.