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substance abuse

Proving Substance Abuse in Court for Divorce Cases in New Jersey: What You Should Know?

Divorce is an emotionally overwhelming legal process, even under the best circumstances, but when substance abuse becomes a factor, it can be even more complex. In New Jersey, if you cite fault-based divorce grounds, you will have to prove that your spouse’s behavior was responsible for the breakdown of the marriage. Knowing how to establish substance abuse during divorce proceedings is crucial in achieving the best possible outcome for your case. Please continue reading to learn how you can prove substance abuse in court and how a compassionate Ocean County Contested Divorce Attorney can help protect your interests every step of the way. 

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey?

Firstly, it’s crucial to understand that initiating divorce proceedings begins with filing a divorce complaint alleging the reasoning behind the demise of the union. The cause of the divorce is known as the grounds. While New Jersey is a no-fault state, it’s not pure. Essentially, you can cite one of the following fault-based divorce grounds:

  • Adultery
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Desertion
  • Incarceration
  • Addiction or habitual intoxication
  • Deviant sexual conduct
  • Institutionalization

No-fault grounds include irreconcilable differences or a separation of at least 18 months. As you can see, it’s possible to cite a spouse’s substance abuse as grounds for divorce.

How Can I Prove Substance Abuse During Divorce Proceedings?

To support your petition, it’s vital to gather as much evidence as possible. Substance abuse is a progressive disease that worsens over time. That said, if your spouse is suffering from a substance abuse disorder, there’s probably much more evidence of the harm done by their addiction than you may realize. The following evidence can be used to prove your spouse’s habitual abuse of alcohol or drugs:

  • Criminal record for DUI or possession of illicit drugs
  • Records of court-ordered or voluntary counseling or treatment programs
  • Records or discipline for substance abuse while on the job (random drug testing results)
  • Records of medical professionals’ assessments of substance abuse and related injuries
  • Witness testimony (statements from friends, family, and co-workers)
  • Photos, recordings, or social media posts that demonstrate your spouse under the influence of excessive alcohol or drugs

Understandably, one of the hardest things to see in life is someone you love battling addiction. When your spouse struggles with substance abuse disorder, it can cause your marriage to deteriorate. If a divorce is imminent, it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of a determined Ocean County contested divorce attorney from the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC, who can help guide you through this complex legal process. Allow our firm to represent your interests to achieve favorable results.