Family Law Blog

The Destructive Effects of Drinking on a Marriage

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Many marriages are significantly stressed by problems with alcohol. Serious problems become apparent in a family marred by alcohol abuse.

Safety Issues

The ability to take care of children is severely impacted when alcohol is a problem in the home. Someone who is intoxicated cannot be relied upon to supervise children.

Domestic violence incidents usually involve at least one spouse being intoxicated. Anger and agitation can worsen over time. The "mean drunk" can turn more violent as mood swings widen.

Catastrophic Events

Loss of license due to one or more arrests for driving under the influence impacts the drinking spouse's ability to meet many of their responsibilities. They are not able to provide transportation for family members. They could lose their job if they cannot get to work, if their job requires driving, or because of the arrest itself.

Alcohol and Divorce

Either spouse could consider divorce in a marriage impacted by alcohol abuse. One spouse might have never been a drinker while the other is significantly impaired. Both spouses could have a serious drinking problem. Additional problems occur when one of two drinking spouses stops drinking either on their own or with treatment. When the other drinking spouse does not follow suit and stop, the behavior of the still drinking spouse is magnified.

Sobriety and Divorce

Once a divorce has been initiated, some drinking spouses will seek treatment. Others continue to drink. Those that do seek treatment might be doing so in the hopes of saving the marriage. It is often too late to resurrect the marriage. Getting help for a substance abuse problem is always a good idea. Further, getting sober after being served with divorce papers might be too late to save the marriage but the divorce could be enough to save the drinker from further calamity.

The Impact on a Settlement

While alcohol abuse impacts all aspects of a marriage and family life, this alone does not always have an adverse impact on the fair and equitable distribution of marital assets in divorce. The outcome of a settlement is impacted by the ability of both spouses to constructively participate in divorce negotiations. Staying sober through the divorce process makes the process go smoother.

Conclusion

Jamra and Jamra will provide professional legal representation to either spouse in a divorce due to drinking problems. Our firm has the compassion, knowledge, and resources to help spouses get through this difficult process.