Raleigh Law Center is open and staff are working remotely. Contact 919-268-4070 to schedule your consultation and speak with an attorney.

February 20, 2019

How to Divorce an Alcoholic or Drug Addicted Spouse in Raleigh, NC

Divorce is never the first option people choose when they are experiencing a difficult marriage. Most people cycle through a huge range of options before they reach the level of choosing divorce, like seeking advice from friends and family, entering into marriage therapy, or reaching out to a broad range of professionals who might help save a marriage before it is irreparably damaged.

Seeking help with a struggling marriage is especially common when one spouse is an addict who has a history of ongoing, chronic abuse of drugs and/or alcohol. It is very common for the non-addicted spouse to spend years enabling the addict, making exceptions for behaviors, putting out tremendous effort to understand the addiction, sympathizingwith the problem, and helping the person seek treatment.

There is a point, however, when the amount of loss, damage, and exhaustion becomes too much for a non-addicted spouse -- and their family -- to bear, and a divorce from an addict becomes the only truly reasonable option. When this happens, it is very important that the non-addicted spouse understands the law, the processes, and the specific problems that commonly arise in a divorce from an alcoholic or drug-addicted partner.

At Raleigh Law Center, we have a long history of experience with many forms of high conflict divorces, including divorce from alcoholics and drug addicts. We’ve helped dozens of husbands and wives through these types of divorces, and we understand all aspects of family law that apply to such divorces in Raleigh, NC.

Because a divorce from an addict or alcoholic is often painful and problematic, we think it is important to put forth some of what we’ve learned, and to give you some basic guidelines on how to approach divorcing someone with chronic alcohol or drug abuse.

You Need to Break Codependency in Order to End a Relationship with an Addict

Perhaps the most challenging -- and least understood -- issue many people face in a divorce from an addict is “codependency.” A basic definition of codependency is when a spouse or intimate partner develops excessive, unhealthy levels of emotional or psychological reliance on a partner. This psychological state applies to both partners. The addict overly depends on the non-addict for help in continuing to function in society, while also continuing to feed his/her addictions. The non-addict develops a sense of self that is tied to being a helper, and to understanding and sympathizing with the addict who -- at least in the non-addicts mind -- cannot help him/herself, or get well.

The psychology of the enabler often makes divorcing an addict or alcoholic particularly difficult. Taking steps to separate your lives, and to no longer supply or support the addict, can bring up intense and overwhelming feelings of guilt and fear of what will happen if the addict is left alone. 

At Raleigh Law Center, we focus on offering the best legal advice available to those going through any form of divorce, but we also realize that even great legal foundations often aren’t enough to take people completely through a divorce process. We encourage our clients to also seek out professionals -- therapists and psychologists -- who can help them deal with the difficulty of staying focused through a divorce from an addict or alcoholic who has clearly demonstrated an inability to recover from his/her addiction.

Our long-running experience giving legal advice to those breaking away from addicted spouses has shown us how important it is to have the right tools and support you need in order to safely and effectively reclaim your life. If need be, we will apply for restraining orders (domestic violence protective orders) against dangerous, obsessive, harassing, unpredictable and/or irrational addicts. We will advise you on what to expect when separating from an alcoholic, and work to make sure that you use every single means available to protect yourself as you go through the process of divorcing an addicted spouse.

Why Use Raleigh Law Center for Divorcing an Addicted or Alcoholic Spouse?

At Raleigh Law Center, we truly care about our clients. We are not a high-volume, churn-and-burn law firm that sees thousands of clients and offers them cookie-cutter legal representation. We truly listen, we learn your issues from every vantage point, and we offer specialized advice and consultation that fits your exact situation and needs.

Raleigh Law Center focuses on clients who are going through difficult, high conflict, damaging divorces. We know how important it is to have excellent, dedicated and committed representation that will take the time to help you see every single option you have for protecting yourself, your family, and for getting what you deserve. Raleigh Law Center remains committed to you throughout the often long and difficult process of divorcing an alcoholic or addicted spouse.

Don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Call us today to set a time to talk, so you can see and hear firsthand just how committed we are to your safety, protection, and your rights in a divorce proceeding. Let us prove to you that Raleigh Law Center is the right firm to choose when you’re dealing with a spouse is unable to emerge from an ongoing addiction.

Raleigh Law Center will help you fight for your family and protect your rights.


We concentrate in family law and domestic violence. We aggressively and effectively represent clients in all aspects of family law including negotiating settlements and litigating cases in Family Court, Domestic Violence Court, District and Superior Courts.
(919) 268-4070
9380 Falls of Neuse Rd Ste #201
Raleigh, NC 27615
(919) 720-4838

We concentrate in family law
and domestic violence. We aggressively and effectively represent clients in all aspects of family law including negotiating settlements and litigating cases in Family Court, Domestic Violence Court, District and Superior Courts.
(919) 268-4070
9380 Falls of Neuse Rd Ste #201
Raleigh, NC 27615
(919) 720-4838
Privacy Policy
© Raleigh Law Center All Rights Reserved 2019.
envelope-omap-markerphone