Addiction, Substance Abuse and Divorce

A June 8th workshop on addiction and substance abuse and their role in marital breakdown and divorce will be at PW Yacht Club by Wisselman, Harounian & Associates, a Great Neck family law firm.

How many people do you know who have had a marital breakdown that ultimately ended in divorce? And how many of these failed marriages resulted from a family member who suffered from addiction and substance abuse?

When you factor in the impact that addiction and a broken marriage can have on children in the family, it is very disturbing.  For example, almost one out of every four children lives in a household where a parent or other adult is a binge or heavy drinker, and almost 13 percent of children live in a household where a parent or other adult uses illicit drugs. Even more alarming is the fact that 70 percent of abused and neglected children have alcohol and/or drug abusing parents.

So, how are these issues handled within the family, within the courtroom, and by the community? And what is done to protect the best interests of the children involved? 

In many cases, a drama the likes of a soap opera unfolds, where one person’s behavior that can be hurtful to many family members, especially the children.  Orders of protection are processed, keeping a parent away from the household altogether; custody can be removed, with contact confined to supervised visitation with the child. Parents may be required to undergo drug testing, and often they are evaluated by a forensic psychologist who provides the court with a summary of their investigation, along with recommendations. And finally, the court makes certain orders and a decision that affects all family members and how they may interact with one another for years to come. 

On June 8, 2012, The Great Neck Matrimonial Law Firm, Wisselman, Harounian & Associates, P.C., will be addressing these sensitive issues in their annual legal workshop conducted for mental health and social service professionals. For over 36 years, this Long Island firm has been handling family law matters. For the past 11 years, they’ve shared their knowledge via these legal workshops with mental health professionals so that the mental health professionals can better serve their patients who going through marital issues and dealing with the Courts. 

On Friday, June 8th, they will present a case study of a divorce and custody matter involving addiction and substance abuse and review how the attorneys, mental health professionals and the Courts address these problems. Guest speaker, Dr. Marvin Aronson, Ph.D., is a well known forensic psychologist and parent coordinator who has worked with the New York Family and Supreme Courts for 14 years.  He will speak about his involvement in these types of matters and how he interacts with the Court to help make decisions.  

If this presentation can be beneficial to you or to a mental health professional you know, you can contact our office through the link below for more information regarding time, location and registration or you can reach us at www.lawjaw.com or sharyn@lawjaw.com. For further information on the June 8 program, log onto http://www.lawjaw.com/documents/workshop.pdf

Sharyn Omara is a Wantagh resident and Public Relations Director for The Law Firm of Wisselman, Harounian & Associates, P.C. in Great Neck. She can be reached at 516-773-8300 or sharyn@lawjaw.com

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michelle s August 09, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Hi. I was a addict who at the time of my addiction was married. My husband threatened to leave me if I did not get help. I refused and then he filed for divorce. My name is Michelle and I encourage anyone who is battling addiction and even worse, on the verge of a divorce to learn more and seek help. It saved me and though my marriage was lost, I am a better person today http://www.lakeviewhealth.com/marriage-divorce-and-addiction.php
Sharyn O'Mara August 09, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Hi Michelle, I am glad to hear that you were able to save yourself. Addiction is a such a difficult struggle and I am happy to hear that you are in a better place now and I am sure that you worked hard to get there. Our matrimonial and family attorneys actively try to help many members of the community with workshops such as the one we wrote about here, many speaking engagements and free legal and support groups that they run, in addition to the free consultations they offer and the matrimonial and family law work they do. Please reach out to me privately if you would like -- I would love to learn more about Lakeview Health. Thank you and the very best of luck to you for the future. Enjoy the rest of the summer!


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