Drug Abuse and Divorce in Texas

May 31, 2019 Posted in Divorce

Drug addiction and abuse affects every aspects of a person’s life, including their marriage. And when drug use is an issue, it is not unusual that it becomes the underlying reason for a divorce.

If you are contemplating a divorce and are dealing with a situation where drug abuse is present in your marriage, it is advisable that you seek counsel with experienced Dallas divorce lawyers. The following offers some general answers to common questions in these circumstances.

Drug Abuse and Spousal Support

Texas family law judges, when awarding spousal support, take into account whether and to what extent a spouse may have wasted marital assets.

While the Texas Family Code allows for the award of alimony only in certain circumstances — if the requesting spouse needs it to provide for his or her financial needs — when a person is an active drug abuser who spends a significant portion martial assets on fueling their addiction, a judge may look more favorably on the other spouse when it comes to awarding alimony.

It’s important to remember, though, that the mere fact that one spouse squandered marital assets to fuel a drug habit will not, by itself, translate into an alimony award. A Dallas divorce lawyer can help you determine if alimony is an option in your divorce case.

Drug Abuse and Property Division

Texas family law judges have a lot of leeway when they go about determining what the law refers to as a “just and right” division of property. They can, and often do, consider one spouse’s depletion of marital assets due to drug use when making this determination.

In divorce situations where the financial situation at hand precludes awarding alimony from the divorce proceedings, a judge can, in their discretion, opt to divide the marital property in a way that takes into consideration the amount that one spouse spent on fueling an addiction.

Drug Abuse and Child Custody

In Texas, the primary criterion when determining the terms of child custody and visitation — referred to as possession and access under Texas law — is what situation is in the best interests of the child. Texas family law judges are tasked with determining what type of arrangement will give the child in questions a stable and safe environment. A parent’s addiction and use of drugs is an important matter that a Texas family law judge will take very seriously. Drug use can even result in a judge not awarding possession of the child and even restricting the drug abuser’s access to the child. In cases where a parent’s addiction or drug use is considered too large a threat to a child’s safety and well-being, a judge can even refuse access.

Contact a Dallas Divorce Lawyer for Help

If your spouse’s drug use has been an issue in your marriage, an experience Dallas divorce lawyer can help you understand the implications on your divorce case and make sure your interests and the interests of your children are represented.

Contact Michael P. Granata at 214-977-9050 or reach out to our offices online to schedule an appointment.