Addiction and Divorce

“Addiction is a complex condition, a brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequences”  

American Psychiatric Association

“What is addiction really? It is a sign, a signal, a symptom of distress. It is a language that tells us about a plight that must be understood”  

Alice Miller

Of all the challenging work that family lawyers face, working with addiction comes somewhere near the top. A recognition that this is not just a question of the practical arrangements that follow the end of a relationship, but often a matter of life and death, is an honest place to begin.

That addiction has an impact on the entire family and is very likely to leave its legacy to future generations, is the unwelcome truth.

We have represented addicts, their partners, the children and grandchildren of addicts. We aim to balance the work that we do with an engagement with the therapeutic community, to enable us to better understand the needs of our clients and their families.

Our aim is to combine our experience as lawyers with our experience as adults, and seek to help our clients achieve the creative solutions, wherever and however they are to be found. 

We know that

  • It is impossible to manage this kind of work alone and so teamwork is essential. 
  • A therapeutic alliance is mandatory for your own well-being and that having someone to unpack with from time to time helps us all stay committed, sane and honest.
  • The addiction industry (like any other) has the good, the bad, and the ugly. Addiction is a chronic, progressive, re-occurring condition and the addiction industry, at its worst, can even put divorce lawyers to shame. Serious money can change hands for the referral of an addict into some treatment centres. 
  • Somewhere between 40-60% of addicts who go into treatment, relapse within a year and so a real understanding of the industry is a must, because our clients and their families are likely to expect and rely on our opinion, and lives are at stake.
  • Experience has told us that you may only get one chance at an “Intervention”, and so if you are going to try it, get the right person
  • Addiction is “a family disease.” For every addict many others are affected. 
  • Children are always going to be vulnerable in the household of an alcoholic. 
  • Adult Children of Alcoholics are more likely to divorce.
  • Addiction is not just about the privileged and famous. This should go last or see alternative below.
  • If we are not representing the addict, then we are probably representing the co-dependent.
  • Addiction does not just disappear as for many, staying straight / sober will be a life long struggle.
  • Addiction does not simply disappear and nor is it just about the privileged and famous.

We help

  • To manage and negotiate the complex arrangements that are often required, to allow the children in families, where there is a parent with addiction, to have fulfilling and safe relationships with both parents.
  • To help achieve safe, practical and fair financial settlements.

Michael Rowlands has developed a close interest and made many connections in the world of Addiction and Addiction Therapy. Michael has been a speaker and participant at iCAD London for a number of years. 

Talk to us

If you require further information or advice from our team of expert family lawyers, please contact a member of our team or call us on +44 (0) 203 002 5833  Alternatively you can complete our online enquiry form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

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