Stipulate These Support Considerations For A Spouse Who Has Struggled With Addiction

Drafting up a separation agreement with your spouse and the help of a family attorney and living on your own for a period of time can either help you to work on issues that are compromising your marriage, or show you that a future divorce will be the best choice for you both. When you work with a family law attorney to write this document, one topic to consider is spousal support. You may be keen on supporting your spouse, but if he or she has had some struggles with drugs or alcohol in the past then you may not feel right about doing so. Here are some points that you could include in your separation agreement:

Support Ends Following An Arrest

People who struggle with addiction can often run into legal problems. For example, an alcoholic may get arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, while a drug addict could be arrested for possession of a controlled substance. Your separation agreement could stipulate that you will provide a set amount of financial support to your spouse as long as he or she doesn't get arrested. Following an arrest that indicates he or she is no longer sober, you will end the support.

Additional Support For Treatment

Sometimes, someone who has struggled with addiction doesn't need to relapse to know that he or she needs help. It may be possible that your spouse is worried about relapsing and decides to seek addiction treatment. Relapses can be common due to stress, and there's a good chance that your spouse will be under a considerable amount of stress as a result of your separation. Your separation agreement could stipulate that you will cover the cost of the treatment program, although you should ideally have some input on the program in which your spouse participates. This may be appropriate if you financially supported his or her past visits to treatment centers.

Support For Medication Costs

If your spouse's addiction was closely linked with a medical condition, he or she may use prescription medication to control that condition. For example, if your spouse was depressed and the depression led to drinking, regularly taking anti-depression medication may help him or her to feel better and thus be less likely to drink. To continue playing a supportive role in your spouse's sobriety even after your separation, your separation agreement could stipulate that you'll cover the cost of this important medication during the months that you're separate from one another.