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How to Get a Divorce When Your Spouse is an Addict in Illinois

 Posted on July 10,2023 in Divorce

Blog ImageIt can be difficult to go through a divorce. Mix in dealing with a spouse who battles with addiction makes it even harder. This blog post provides guidance on what to do when navigating a divorce in Illinois under these circumstances. Topics covered include grounds for divorce, child custody, alimony, and asset division.

Grounds for Divorce

A marriage can be ended based on irreconcilable differences in Illinois when it has resulted in the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Substance abuse does not need to be proven as a specific reason for divorce in this state.

Child Custody

The court prioritizes the well-being of the child in child custody cases. If your spouse's addiction puts your child at risk, the court may limit their parenting time and decision-making authority. Your spouse may be required to cease using or having drugs while spending time with the child and attend a substance abuse program. It is important to provide evidence of the addiction's impact on your child to the court.


In divorce cases, substance abuse problems could impact the alimony awards. The amount of alimony a spouse receives may decrease, or the amount they have to pay may increase due to their addiction. When determining alimony, the court will evaluate factors. They consider the duration of the marriage, the financial resources of each spouse, and the needs of the parties involved.

Asset Division

Marital assets are divided based on the principle of "equitable distribution" in a divorce. This means that assets are divided fairly rather than equally. If your spouse's addiction has resulted in the dissipation of marital assets due to reckless financial decisions or wasteful spending, the court may consider this while dividing the assets.

Steps to Take

Make sure to follow the proper steps as you approach your divorce.

Gather evidence

Collect documentation and evidence of your spouse's addiction, such as medical records, treatment history, and any incidents involving the police or child protective services.

File for divorce

File a petition for divorce in the county where you or your spouse reside. You must meet the residency requirements. You will need to live in Illinois for at least 90 days before filing.

Negotiate custody, alimony, and asset division

Work with your attorney to negotiate child custody, alimony, and asset division agreements that protect your interests and your child's well-being.

Prepare for court

If you and your spouse cannot agree, be prepared to present your case in court. The case should focus on your child's best interests and the impact of your spouse's addiction on your family.

Contact an Illinois Family Law Attorney

Navigating a divorce when your spouse is an addict can be complex and emotionally challenging. By understanding Illinois law, working with a knowledgeable North Aurora divorce lawyer, and focusing on your child's best interests, you can navigate the divorce process easier and know which steps to take next.


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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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