If your spouse or partner has been convicted of multiple DUIs, you may have also been the victim of domestic violence by them, or may have fears of this occurring. Any relationship can have its occasional issues, but when one of the individuals has exhibited a pattern of addictive behavior, it can threaten the health of both people as well as the relationship. A major concern is the physical and emotional violence that is often associated with persons who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you have been harmed by anyone, including your significant other or a family member, seek a safe place for yourself and your children immediately and report the attack to law enforcement. Social support programs are available in most communities that may be able to provide the assistance you need in light of what you may be dealing with in your life.
If your partner or spouse appears to have addiction issues, they may not yet be at a place in life where they are ready to accept that they have a problem. As such, it will be very difficult for them to effectively deal with their addictions and are unlikely to stop indulging in their addiction of choice. However, that does not mean that you cannot seek counseling regarding this situation. Though your choice to undergo counseling will probably not cause them to face their addiction, it may help you in any of the following ways:
- Help you to identify the behaviors that you are responsible for, and which behaviors are the responsibility of your partner.
- Provide the emotional support you need during this difficult time, and offering a safe place in which to express your thoughts and concerns.
- Learn tools that can allow for effective communication with your partner when they are sober, and ways in which you can protect yourself and your children when they are not sober.
- Assist you in recognizing your value as a person, and separating your partner’s issues from your own.
- Receive information about government and local community programs and resources that can help you in various ways in light of your situation. This may include housing, emergency funding, free counseling, free legal support, and many other types of assistance should you need help.
Child Custody Agreement
If you and your partner or spouse have a child together, the primary consideration should be the safety of the child if there is domestic violence occurring. If a parent is known to be violent, then the family court judge should be notified by yourself or your attorney prior to their ruling on child custody matters. Seeking sole custody of your child should be a primary consideration if the circumstances warrant such an arrangement. If you are not separating or divorcing your spouse who has exhibited violent behavior, you are at risk to losing your child to Child Protective Services and you may never regain custody again. Talk to a Bloomington, IL criminal lawyer to find out more about your legal options regarding child custody and other concerns if your spouse or partner has one or more DUI convictions and has shown to be violent under any circumstances.
Thanks to Pioletti, Pioletti & Nichols for their insight into criminal law and a pattern of DUI convictions.