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 a couple last year who on the outside appeared happy, and
their life looked as though they had it all together. He was a podiatrist,
she an attorney. They had an adorable 2-year-old, a home in Sands Point
Long Island, and assets totaling $14 million. What the wife didn’t
realize, for a long time, was that her husband was addicted to prescription
drugs. 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. It will take 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, budgetary needs; think about
the survival of yourself and your family.
2. 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, often build a tolerance and most importantly hide their
addiction. You may not know they are an addict.
The dysfunctional addict bounces from job to job, always lying, may have
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. Choose 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 his or her addiction while working through the divorce.
A mentally/physically better spouse can participate more fully and effectively
in the decision making process in a divorce.
If the story I shared above 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 more than 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.
FREE 1 HOUR CONSULTATIONS are still available virtually.
I look forward to working with you and sharing my expert team of specialists with you!
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.