New York, NY- This past weekend ABC reported Elizabeth Vargas entered rehab, cutting her vacation short. Now, we learn that her 12 year marriage to singer-songwriter Mark Cohn is over, and the two are in the process of getting a divorce.
On Wednesday, People announce that Vargas and Cohn were in the process of divorce, just days after she entered rehab for the second time in a year. Last November, Vargas admitted to battling her addiction for nearly a decade.
While she works on conquering her alcoholism, Vargas’ two sons, 10 year-old Zachary and 7 year-old Samuel will live her estranged husband, People reported.
After Vargas entered rehab, Cohn released a statement which said, “On behalf of Elizabeth’s family, we are in total support of her recovery and want her to be well.” But he made no mention of divorce.
Vargas also released a statement acknowledging the “toll” her addiction has taken on her family. “I feel I have let myself, my co-workers and most importantly my family down and for that I am ashamed and sorry,” Vargas said in an emailed statement it the New York Daily News.
In an emotional “Good Morning America” interview with one of her co-anchors George Stephanopoulos, Vargas said she used alcohol to treat anxiety that has plagued her since she was a child and help her cope with stress.
Vargas’ struggle and her resulting divorce brings to light the struggles a couple of family go through when a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol.
Lying, cheating, irrationality and a host of other issues often plague marriages where one person has an addiction. Since married couples are legally tied to each other, both the addict and their spouse bear the brunt of the financial and legal issues that accompany an addiction to drugs, alcohol or gambling.
Many spouses put up with addiction for years, but eventually this will wear down a relationship and they feel they have no other option than file for divorce. A drug or alcohol addiction probably won’t have much of an impact on how assets are divided in divorce, but it will affect other aspects such as child custody.
When it comes to child custody, however, an addiction will have an enormous impact, even if the addict is a high-functioning one. Since court determine child custody based on the best interest of the child, the courts are reluctant to give custody to an addict unless they take steps to overcome their addiction. A history of drug abuse, even if the addict is currently sober can also effect child custody. If a couple has joint custody of their child, a court may take away the addicted spouses parental rights if their addiction worsens, they don’t get help or put their children in dangerous situations.
Speaking with a divorce attorney in the beginning stages will allow you to understand the process and what steps you need to take. Divorce is never easy, but a divorce attorney can take some of the burdens of off your shoulders so you can focus on moving forward with your life.