New Jersey Substance Abuse and Divorce Attorney

Haddon Heights family lawyer advises on cases involving drug and alcohol problems

A nationwide study indicates that drug or alcohol abuse is cited as a contributing cause in more than one-third of divorces. This is not surprising, as a substance addiction can lead to emotional conflict, trust problems and financial peril. The Law Offices of Kelli M. Martone provides strong divorce representation to New Jersey residents, and I am well versed in the challenges that arise when substance abuse contributes to the end of a marriage. Serving clients in Camden and Burlington counties, my firm will examine the specific facts in your situation and advise how addiction issues could affect custody and financial terms. From there, I advocate for a resolution that addresses past harm and protects you and your children in the future.

Habitual drunkenness or drug use can be grounds for a divorce

You can file for fault-based divorce in New Jersey by alleging that your spouse’s habitual alcohol problem or drug addiction has lasted for at least 12 consecutive months. However, not everyone whose husband or wife is a substance abuser chooses this path. After consulting with your attorney, you might decide that it is not worth the effort to prove your spouse has a problem and seek a “no fault” divorce based on irreconcilable differences between you and your partner that have lasted at least six months. You can rely on us for sound advice regarding the best course of action given the circumstances in your case.

How substance abuse can affect child custody

Determinations regarding child custody and visitation are to be based on the youth’s best interests. A parent who is impaired by alcohol or drugs cannot meet their child’s needs and might pose an immediate danger to them. This does not mean that a mother or father battling addiction is an unloving parent. Each case is unique, and I look for creative ways to promote parent-child relationships in a safe, healthy environment. Supervised visitation might be an option if there is a concern about your son or daughter’s well-being.

How substance abuse affects division of assets

The judge determines how marital property will be divided when spouses cannot settle on terms. New Jersey’s equitable distribution standard means that the judge makes this determination based on what he or she thinks is fair, but that does not always mean an equal split. State law provides several factors that must be considered, but any information the court believes to be relevant can affect the decision. Though equitable distribution orders are not generally used to punish marital misconduct, substance abuse problems often involve the draining of marital assets and a victimized spouse can seek a resolution that accounts for this.

How substance abuse affects alimony

Courts have wide leeway when setting forth alimony arrangements. An addiction to alcohol or drugs could affect these evaluations in several ways. If your partner squandered shared funds, you might receive a more favorable alimony decision. On the other hand, a spouse whose substance abuse problem significantly affects their overall health might not be able to support themselves or provide alimony to their ex.

Contact a knowledgeable New Jersey divorce lawyer for a consultation    

The Law Offices of Kelli M. Martone advises New Jersey clients who are seeking a divorce from a spouse with a substance abuse problem. To schedule an appointment, please call 856-432-4587 or contact me online. My office is located in Haddon Heights.