Divorce can be difficult even under the most amicable circumstances. However, when a factor such as substance abuse plays a role, it further complicates matters. Substance abuse can have a profound impact on marriage. That said, many individuals wonder whether they can seek a divorce on the grounds of their partner’s substance abuse. Please continue reading to learn how substance abuse can influence a New York divorce and how our compassionate Garden City Divorce Lawyer can help you navigate your legal options. 

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in New York?

Firstly, “grounds” are legally acceptable reasons for a divorce. In New York, when you file for divorce, you must provide the court with the reasoning behind the demise of the union. Divorcing parties can choose to file on “no-fault” divorce grounds or fault-based divorce grounds. If the marriage has broken down irretrievably for at least six months, you can cite irreconcilable differences for a no-fault divorce. If you file for a fault-based divorce, New York recognizes the following grounds:

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment
  • Inhuman and cruel treatment
  • Imprisonment for three consecutive years
  • Separation agreement

How Can a Spouse’s Substance Abuse Impact a Divorce?

The impact of substance abuse in a New York divorce is substantial and can affect various aspects of the impending proceedings. While it’s not grounds for divorce in New York, if their addiction has led to domestic violence, you may file for divorce on the grounds of cruel and inhuman treatment. To cite cruel and humane treatment, you must demonstrate you’ve experienced physical or mental anguish as a result of your spouse’s behavior. Therefore, if your spouse has emotionally or verbally abused you as a result of substance abuse, you can cite that as grounds for your divorce.

Furthermore, New York follows the principle of equitable distribution when dividing a couple’s marital assets. Substance abuse can significantly affect this division if one spouse has squandered marital funds to support their addiction and has harmed the couple’s financial stability. The court can favor the non-abusing spouse’s favor if they deem it appropriate.

How Can I Prove Substance Abuse in Court in Divorce Cases?

When substance abuse is a factor in a New York divorce, it’s crucial to gather evidence as you will have to demonstrate how their behavior has impacted your marriage. This includes photographs, videos, text messages, or eyewitness accounts whenever possible. In addition, medical records and police records can also be presented as compelling evidence.

If substance abuse is an issue in your marriage, it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of a proficient lawyer from the Law Offices of Eyal Talassazan, P.C., who can help protect your interests at every turn.