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Will accusations of addiction affect the outcome of divorce?

According to a recent report, approximately 15 million Americans suffer from some sort of addiction. The majority of those are believed to overuse substances, such as alcohol and/or drugs, among various other things. This type of behavior is thought to be the cause of numerous divorces in Massachusetts and elsewhere. A person who is accused of addictive behaviors may find that his or her divorce settlement can be affected.

Overcoming addiction is extremely difficult, though not impossible. Many couples will try to work through the issue and only consider divorce if all else fails. However, it is believed that, of the 1.2 million divorces that occur across the country every year, a large number of them involve some sort of addiction.

Addiction can have a number of consequences. During divorce proceedings, a parent who is accused of drinking, drug use or any other type of addiction may not be granted child custody or be given visitation time. One's former spouse may have rehabilitation requirements included in a custody order. Failing to abide by these extra inclusions can greatly affect one's future relationship with his or her children.

Custody is just one aspect of divorce that may be affected by addiction. Before any extras can be included in a divorce settlement, a certain degree of proof of addiction needs to be provided to the court. If such evidence cannot be supplied, any special requests or requirements are likely to be denied. Those in Massachusetts who are accused of being addicts do have the ability to fight such accusations and seek fair and balanced divorce settlements. An experienced divorce attorney can help ensure his or her client's rights and interests are protected.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Dealing With Divorce and Addiction", Mel, Nov. 11, 2015

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