Dealing with a spouse’s alcohol or substance abuse problem can be challenging, especially in the context of divorce. In the state of Texas, family law courts recognize the detrimental effects such issues can have on families. This article will explore how Texas state law addresses these concerns and the possible actions the court may take when one spouse struggles with alcohol or substance abuse.
Impact on Child Custody
When alcohol or substance abuse is present, the court’s primary concern is the best interests of any children involved. Texas courts prioritize the safety and welfare of the child when determining custody arrangements. If evidence demonstrates that a parent’s alcohol or substance abuse problem negatively impacts their ability to care for the child, the court may limit or restrict the parent’s access to the child. In severe cases, the court may award sole custody to the other parent or grant supervised visitation until the abusing spouse can demonstrate rehabilitation and stability.
Property Division and Financial Matters
Substance abuse issues can affect the financial stability of the family. Texas is a community property state, meaning that assets acquired during the marriage are generally subject to division. However, if one spouse’s alcohol or substance abuse directly contributed to the dissipation of marital assets or resulted in financial hardship, the court may consider these factors when dividing property. The abusing spouse may be held responsible for their actions, resulting in an unequal distribution of assets or an order to pay for any dissipated assets or rehabilitation expenses.
Mandatory Treatment Programs
In cases where the court determines that substance abuse is a significant factor affecting the marriage, it may order the abusing spouse to attend a mandatory treatment program. These programs aim to address the root causes of addiction and promote recovery. Compliance with court-ordered treatment is crucial, as failure to participate or complete the program may negatively impact child custody or other court decisions. If the abusing spouse fails to comply with court orders or shows no effort to overcome their addiction, it may influence the court’s determinations on custody, visitation, and financial matters.
Protective Orders and Restraining Orders
In situations where the abusing spouse’s alcohol or substance abuse poses a risk of harm to their partner or children, the court may issue a protective order or restraining order. These orders can provide legal protection by prohibiting the abusing spouse from contacting or approaching the protected individuals. Violation of such orders can result in severe consequences, including criminal charges. Protective orders are intended to safeguard the safety and well-being of the affected parties while legal proceedings are ongoing.
Expert Representation Matters
When a spouse has an alcohol or substance abuse problem, Texas state law provides avenues for addressing the issue within the context of divorce. The court prioritizes the best interests of children, offers solutions such as treatment programs, and considers financial implications. Understanding the legal options available is crucial for individuals navigating divorce proceedings in such circumstances.
That’s where Lundberg Law comes in. We can help you navigate this often difficult and stressful process and represent your best interests. Call us today at 972-775-3500 for a free consultation.