Scott Stapp's Divorce Illustrates the Challenge of Divorcing a Spouse with Substance Abuse Problems


Creed singer Scott Stapp is reportedly struggling with abuse of amphetamines, crystal meth, and steroids, according to the petition for divorce that his wife Jaclyn recently filed in a Florida court. Jaclyn is requesting court ordered addiction treatment for her husband, based on threatening statements he has made to her and her children. She is also asking for full custody of their two young children.

Stapp was reportedly placed on a 72-hour psychiatric hold on November 13th after law enforcement officials found him incoherent and claiming someone was trying to poison him. He has a history of struggling with alcohol and prescription drug abuse, but is claiming that current allegations of substance abuse are simply a misunderstanding.

A spouse's past drug or alcohol problem won't negatively affect your divorce proceedings, but current substance abuse issues will likely influence the outcome of any child custody hearings. In a divorce, a judge's job is to consider the best interests of the children. A parent who is under the influence is simply unable to provide a safe and supportive environment for the children. The sober parent will likely be given full custody until a substance abuse treatment program has been successfully completed. Even then, supervised visitation may be required for the first few months.

A spouse accused of drug or alcohol abuse does not have to comply with a divorce court's request for substance abuse testing. However, please keep in mind that the constitutional right against self incrimination only applies to criminal cases. In a civil matter such as a divorce and child custody hearing, the judge is allowed to infer that a refusal to provide credible evidence of sobriety means that allegations of substance abuse are unchallenged.

How Can We Help?

Divorcing a spouse who suffers from a drug or alcohol addiction can present special legal challenges. If you are in need of representation during your divorce, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at Our Pasadena divorce attorneys can advocate for your needs and help you move on with the next stage of your life.