Ask An Attorney – Drinking and Divorce

In a January 6, 2016 Ask An Attorney feature in the West Oakland Spinal Column Newsweekly, Kathryn Wayne-Spindler addresses drinking and divorce.

Drinking and Divorce“Q: My husband always enjoyed a beer or two after work but lately he’s been drinking more heavily and has started acting erratically. I have urged him to get help. If he doesn’t and I end up divorcing him, how will his addiction affect the settlement and custody?

A: I have seen a lot of mental illness and addiction in my 20-plus years as a divorce attorney. I can tell you the key factors in divorce are diagnosis and treatment. As with most mental illnesses, addiction can be managed. First, your husband should be assessed by a professional. If he refuses, the courts can require him to be evaluated as a part of the divorce process. If diagnosed as a substance abuser, he would be required to regularly attended a treatment program and take any prescribed medication. If he sticks to the treatment plan, adheres to the mental-health professional’s orders and is not an imminent threat to the family, he would receive the same rights and consideration as any divorcing spouse. As far as custody concerns, don’t assume that the courts would automatically give you sole custody based on his addiction. If he refuses treatment or doesn’t acknowledge the diagnosis, the courts will take that into account. If so, you could be awarded legal and physical custody and he may have supervised visitation until his addiction has been under control for at least two years.”

The experienced attorneys at Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates have been handling divorces in Southeastern Michigan for decades. They are very knowledgeable about how the local courts handle drinking and divorce. The Waterford family law attorneys of Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates handle cases throughout the five counties of Oakland, Washtenaw, Wayne, Genesee and Livingston. Contact the Milford, Michigan law office at 248-685-8888. The family law attorneys help clients in Milford, Highland, Hartland, Waterford, White Lake, Commerce, Wixom, Holly, Grand Blanc, New Hudson and many more local communities.