• Locations
    • Chicago Office 77 W. Wacker Drive, 45th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601
    • Downtown Chicago/Loop Office233 S. Wacker Drive, 84th Floor Chicago, IL 60606
    • Lake Forest Office100 Saunders Rd., Suite 150 Lake Forest, IL 60045
    • Lisle Office3333 Warrenville Rd.,Suite 200 Lisle, IL 60532

How Substance Abuse Can Play a Role in Divorce

A drug addict holding a needle represents the necessity for a Chicago family law attorney in some cases.

There are many factors that can lead to divorce. Some couples can’t overcome financial troubles and eventually split up because of it. Other couples deal with infidelity and some couples simply grow apart over time and decide to go their separate ways. Still, there are other couples that have an abusive relationship and in some cases marriages are destroyed because one or both spouses have serious substance abuse problems (e.g. drug or alcohol addictions). Frankly, this is more common of a problem than most people realize.

Substance abuse can be devastating to the abuser, but that abuse can also be very harmful to that person’s spouse and children. While it is sometimes difficult to always pinpoint the exact negative effects that these kinds of behaviors have on marriage and family, there is plenty of evidence that suggests substance abuse can lead to divorce. When people are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol they typically behave in unpredictable ways. Sometimes, they treat their spouses and children poorly, which can include physical abuse. This kind of unstable behavior can often lead to divorce, and in many such cases divorce is the best answer.

On the other hand, some spouses of substance abusers feel guilty about leaving the relationship when their spouse is experiencing these kinds of problems. However, in many cases, in order to protect themselves and their children it is better to end the relationship and move on. That’s because the kind of behavior that is typical with people who abuse drugs or alcohol is very unstable and it can cause serious damage to children, physically, mentally and emotionally. Substance abusers often treat their spouse and children abusively, which can be physical or sexual. In that case, divorce is probably better for the children, because the long-term affects of this kind of behavior can damage children for the rest of their lives.

No two situations are alike and it would be inappropriate to say that anyone dealing with a spouse that abuses drugs or alcohol should get a divorce. However, if you are struggling with a spouse that is an abuser, then you should seek help. At the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group in Chicago, we understand divorce and we know that you probably have many questions and concerns if you find yourself in this type of situation. That’s why we recommend speaking with us as soon as you can if you are in an abusive relationship and considering divorce. Please don’t wait for the problem to fix itself. Give us a call at 312-585-6604, or contact us online by clicking here.

This should only be considered as general information and is not intended to be legal advice. Contacting an attorney is always a good idea in these kinds of cases. An Attorney can help you decide what is best for you in your particular case and circumstances.

There are many factors to consider when contemplating divorce, and a pre-divorce planning session can help you begin to plan for a divorce. Please contact the professionals at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group by calling (312) 585-6604 or clicking here to schedule a consultation.


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“When I needed a family lawyer, I trusted the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group and you can too.” Dr. Debra Thomas – Orthopedic Surgeon – 1988 U.S. Olympic Bronze Medalist”

Debbie Thomas

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Women's Divorce & Family Law Group by Haid & Teich Chicago Divorce Lawyers

Contact Information

Downtown Chicago/Loop Office
Chicago Office
Lake Forest Office
Lisle Office
Lake Forest Office

100 Saunders Rd.
Suite 150

Lake Forest, IL 60045

Lisle Office

3333 Warrenville Rd.
Suite 200

Lisle, IL 60532

Chicago Office

233 S. Wacker Drive
84th Floor

Chicago, IL 60606

Downtown Chicago/Loop Office

77 W. Wacker Drive
45th Floor

Chicago, IL 60601

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