The Trials of Divorcing an Addict
Once you finally make the decision to leave an addict, it is important to be aware of some of the trials that may be involved in getting a divorce in Tampa.
It is hard seeing someone you love struggle with an addiction. As much as you may love them and want to help, it is ultimately up to them to decide to take the first step towards recovery. In the meantime, they can wreak havoc on your home and your finances while taking advantage of your patience, understanding, and generosity. Filing for divorce may be the only option to protect yourself. Unfortunately, once you make this difficult decision, there will still likely be trials you will have to face.
Your Rights to Marital Property and Assets When Divorcing an Addict
If you are married to an addict, it is important to realize that you are not alone. According to the National Survey On Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), close to 200,000 people in the Tampa area are classified as having a substance abuse disorder. While drug addiction is not grounds for filing for divorce in Florida, it can impact divorce proceedings.
All marital property, assets, and debts are divided in a divorce in Florida on an equitable basis. This means that rather than splitting everything 50/50, the judge determines an arrangement that is fair. As an addicted spouse may have sold belongings and squandered money you tried to save while occurring massive debts in the process, you may have the right to a larger portion in any settlements, as well as to additional payments for financial or property losses you suffered.
Other Issues Likely to Arise in Your Case
In addition to protecting your rights to marital property and assets, there are other issues that often arise when divorcing an addict. These include:
- Failure to respond to the divorce petition: Once you file for divorce through the Hillsborough County Courts, your spouse will be formally notified. However, addicts are often hard to locate and even once they are served, many fail to respond.
- Failure to appear at hearings or mediation sessions: Your spouse may also ignore legal summons to appear in court. They can be held in contempt and the judge may automatically rule in your favor.
- Issues concerning children: Child time sharing proceedings are more complex when there is an addicted spouse. We can push for limited, supervised visitation to ensure your children are protected.
- Enforcing court judgments: You may be entitled to spousal and child support or other payments as part of your divorce judgment but getting addicts to pay often proves challenging. We can take enforcement actions as needed, including requesting wage garnishment or seizure of benefits and funds in bank accounts.
Reach Out to Our Tampa Divorce Attorney
The Law Offices of Mark G. Rodriguez, P.A. acts as a strong ally on your side when dealing with an addicted spouse. To discuss your rights and how we can protect you, call 813-227-9642 or contact our Tampa divorce attorney online and request a consultation today.