Drug and Alcohol Addiction and Divorce

Many couples have problems with drugs, alcohol, and other addictions that contribute to the breakdown of the marriage.

A Growing Problem. Drug and alcohol addiction is a growing problem throughout the United States. From narcotic arrests, alcohol-related fatalities, to the percentage of dependency and neglect cases that are methamphetamine related, drug and alcohol problems permeates many communities. The national percentages of alcohol-related fatalities was 38% to 41%. Methamphetamine (meth) use is an increasingly critical problem.

If Addiction is Alleged in Family Law Cases. If alcohol or drug addiction is alleged in a family law case, the Parties and the Court have several options. If drug addiction is alleged, a Party may request or the Court may require drug testing to determine whether addiction or use is involved. The typical types of tests are urine analysis (UA), breath analysis (BA), and hair follicle testing. If alcohol addiction is alleged, the Court may order that the individual use a digital alcohol detector, like the Alcohawk™ Alcohol Detector, which is available at Sams Club or Brookstone, etc. at a reasonable cost, $60-80, prior to exchanging the children. The Court may also appoint a guardian ad litem to investigate and make a re4commendation to the Court as to what is in the children’s best interests or require a drug or alcohol evaluation. One caution with any drug or alcohol evaluation is that some tests are more subjective than others (i.e. do you think you have an addiction problem? versus have you ever lost a job because of drug use?).