The Legal Effects of Drug and Alcohol Abuse In Divorce Cases

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

I often see in my divorce cases here in Palm Beach County extensive drug use, legal and illegal substance abuse, and alcoholism.  Sometimes it is my own client who is the wrongdoer, and sometimes it is my client’s husband or wife who is the wrongdoer.

Eventhough Florida is a no fault state, there are ramifications of drug and alcohol abuse.  The first falls into the category of dissipation of marital assets.  If a spouse is spending a fortune on his/her drug habit, the court can award the innocent spouse a substantial portion, more than 50%, of the existing marital estate to make up for the expense of the other. 

However the more severe ramifications of drug and alcohol abuse involve children.  In my cases, I do not wish to see a drunk father or mother driving around with a two year old in the back seat.  So I ask for supervised visitation.  The judge can order random drug testing as well as psychological counseling and anger management classes.  Behavior is key when it comes to fighting for children in custody battles and in time sharing. 

My dream case is where a mother or father parties til 2 am four times a week and comes home drunk, then sleeps until noon.  This scenario unfortunately is more common than you can imagine.   I will work very hard for the other side and for the best interests of the children.   If you are getting divorced in Palm Beach County and want answers to your questions, call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561 835 9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at for more information.


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