How Do You Prove Substance Abuse in a Georgia Divorce?
One of Georgia’s “grounds for divorce” is “habitual drug addiction,” and this is becoming a common issue in many divorces throughout the state. According to the latest statistics, about 6.5% of Georgia residents use illicit drugs. Both overdoses and excessive drinking kills thousands of people each year in the State of Georgia, and these issues can contribute to the reason a couple divorces. How can someone prove that a spouse is abusing drugs during the marriage – and why is that information beneficial?
Why Would You Want to Prove Substance Abuse?
Why is it beneficial to have information evidencing your spouse is abusing drugs ? There are three main reasons:
- Establishing Grounds for Divorce: In Georgia, the person filing for divorce or filing a counterclaim for divorce is entitled to name a specific reason for a “fault-based divorce.” To do so, evidence of the fault-based action is required. Fault-based divorce is more complex than “no-fault” divorce, but it may have certain advantages. Speak with your lawyer if you are considering fault-based divorce.
- Child Custody: In addition, evidence of your spouse’s substance abuse may lead to a different outcome regarding child custody. For example, a parent who has documented substance abuse issues may have less time with the child or children as it may be unsafe for the child or children to be with that parent.
- Equitable Division: Substance abuse can be an expensive habit. If you have evidence that your spouse dissipated marital assets to fund the habit, it may lead to a different division of the assets in your favor.
How to Prove the Existence of a Substance Abuse Problem
There are several ways to gather evidence of substance abuse; some of those depend on the type of substance and some of them depend on your spouse. For example, (1) review bank records for unusual cash withdrawals, hidden accounts, or unknown Venmo/Zelle/CashApp transactions; (2) review transactions for purchases of alcohol or drug paraphernalia; (3) search for arrest/criminal records to determine if your spouse has any criminal history; and (4) review social media for any posts your spouse “likes” or follows that are related to drugs, alcohol, etc. Most importantly, speak with your attorney for guidance. It may be possible to collect other evidence, such as from a private investigator, from medical records or from a subpoena, .
Where Can I Find a Qualified Divorce Attorney in Georgia?
If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced Atlanta divorce attorney, look no further than Kaye, Lembeck, Hitt & French. We know that marriage to someone with a substance abuse issues can be challenging. With our help, you can take the most appropriate course of legal action as you pursue your divorce.