Spouses faced with addiction being a third party in their relationship
generally find divorce to be their only way out. As a psychologically-trained
medical professional and divorce attorney, I have a unique approach to
guiding couples through divorce while addressing addiction.
I can often identify addiction behaviors while handling the mediation process
with divorcing couples. In some cases, addiction is evident to a spouse,
in others, it is not.
I worked with an amazing couple last year who on the outside appeared happy,
and their life looked as though they had it all together. He was a commodities
trader, she a scientist. They had an adorable 4-year-old, a home in Manhasset
Long Island, and assets totaling $8.5 million.
What the wife didn’t realize, for a long time, was that her husband
was a coke addict. He hid it really well and she was embarrassed she didn’t
know. Marriage counseling hadn’t worked.
Still caring for her husband, the wife expressed wanting to help him with
his issues while divorcing. I was able to connect him to an effective
addiction specialist and the couple was finally able to move through their
I share this story with you so you know you are not alone. Addictions are
a part of life and can be a third party in a couple’s marriage.
Here’s what I tell spouses considering divorce while addressing an
1. Courage, Planning, and Preparation
Find the courage to decide you want out of your marriage. It’s hard,
but if you have tried everything and you are unhappy, take action. Do
some research and decide who can help you, gather your documents, financial
statements, tax returns, property details, and budgetary needs. Think
about the survival of yourself and your family.
2. Identifying the Addict
Be aware there is a functional addict versus a dysfunctional addict.
A functional addict can usually hold a job, can make a good income, can
seem very normal, has a high tolerance and most importantly, is able to
hide their addiction. You may not know they are an addict.
The dysfunctional addict bounces from job to job, always lying, may have
multiple DWIs, and sometimes a criminal record. If you are aware of the
addiction, and depending on what type of addict your spouse is, the method
you use for divorcing will be important.
3. Choosing the Right Vehicle for Divorce
Sometimes mediation can help when addiction is in the mix. In my mediation
process, once I identify addiction, if it is not already evident to the
spouse, I introduce my team of experts into the divorce process who can
help as therapists/and or addiction specialists so the spouse can be treated
for their addiction while working through their divorce.
A mentally/physically better spouse can participate more fully and effectively
in the decision-making process in a divorce.
If this story sounds like you, there is help! While addictions can ruin
marriages, it is possible to navigate a sane and sound divorce even when
addiction is on board with my unique mediation process.
With over 35 years of legal experience and my medical training, I can uniquely
guide you towards a happier and healthier life.
Call today to book your free consultation 212.734.1551.
During this challenging time, our
FREE 1 HOUR CONSULTATIONS will be conducted virtually to reduce risk.
I look forward to working with you and sharing my expert team of specialists with you!
Stay healthy and safe!
Call New York Divorce Attorney Lois Brenner if you want a divorce from
an addicted spouse.
A FREE consultation is a phone call away.
Act now and call 212.734.1551.