If you are leaving your marriage because your spouse has a drug and/or alcohol problem and will not seek help, you have to assess whether your spouse could present a danger to you and your children if you leave.

The best predictor of violence is past violence, but what some drugs like methamphetamines, Crack, or cocaine, a past that has no violence may not matter. It is important to seek the help of an addiction specialist and a family law attorney or center. There are services for low income families across the country for issues like this.

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For instance, the Chabad Centers are in every major city and are run by the Jewish Community, but service anyone in need. They are devoted to helping people who are dealing with issues of alcohol and drug abuse. They typically have connections to attorneys that work on a pro-bono (for free) basis that can give you advice as to how to proceed. This, as well as domestic violence, is two areas in which you do not tell the children together about your separation.

You may, depending on the level of alcohol or drug abuse, need a restraining order and a plan to get yourself and your children out of the home safely (or the other party out of the home).


About Alice R. Berkowitz

Dr. Alice R. Berkowitz has been in practice as a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist since 1986. Her psychotherapy practice is currently located in Beverly Hills, California, after over 28 years at the prestigious Cedars-Sinai Medical Office Towers in Los Angeles, California.

Serving a wide variety of clientele, Berkowitz sees many high profile personalities in the Los Angeles area, is certified as an addiction specialist and travels doing consultations all over the country. Berkowitz is also trained as a neuropsychologist, and is well versed in the effects of addiction on the different areas of the brain.

In addition to her work as a clinical psychologist, Berkowitz has also worked as a Child Custody Evaluator, Expert Witness, Mediator and Reunification Therapist in Family Court since 1986. Her areas of expertise are in the area of parental alienation, parenting plans, parenting training and coaching, dealing with high-conflict families, divorce coaching, conjoint therapy, domestic violence, substance abuse, reunification therapy, PTSD, parent-child relationships, child sexual abuse and allegations of alleged sexual abuse.