Have you ever wondered how many marriages end because of alcoholism? After several attempts to stop an alcoholic from drinking, the probability of a marriage ending jumps from 30 percent to 50 percent. Even previously stable relationships experience intense stress from alcoholism.
Interestingly enough, divorce rates are lower where both partners drink heavily. Still, high consumption of alcohol has a greater negative impact than divorce alone with children traumatized, domestic abuse more common, and no happiness in the home.
Alcoholism: One of the Top Three Reasons for Divorce
Alcoholism ranks as one of the top three reasons that people in the United States divorce. It ruins marriages to the point where you cannot salvage them. Alcoholics tell lies and hide their addiction in many cases to keep the spouse happy for the short term.
Many times alcoholics focus all of the attention on themselves, which can be devastating to a marriage. Every one of these factors leads to the slow suffocation of the relationship.
The other top reasons for divorce include:
• Financial problems
• Lack of commitment
• Domestic violence
Can You Divorce Over Alcohol?
Whether you divorce a spouse over alcohol or substance abuse problems, writing this as the reason can dictate the divorce proceedings and how child custody takes place. In some cases, the divorce turns into a he-said-she-said scenario. Unless you had hospital visits or car accidents that prove alcoholism, you may struggle to use this as grounds for divorce.
Courts also examine if the individual was an alcoholic before the marriage. If someone married knowing the other person had an alcohol addiction, they may receive less leeway.
Will Alcoholism Determine the Division of Assets?
No, the fault for the failure of marriage will usually have no impact on the division of assets. The courts will look at behavioral patterns throughout the marriage.
In some states, behavioral patterns can dictate how the assets get divided and impact custody decisions. Moderate drinking doesn’t usually impact child custody hearings, but the courts could see an alcoholic spouse as less capable of taking care of a child than a non-alcoholic spouse.
Winning child custody as an alcoholic spouse will prove to be much more difficult. The judge may order you to go to a rehabilitation facility or to only have supervised visits.
Could You Annul a Marriage Because of Alcoholism?
An annulment differs from a divorce. With an annulment, the marriage is viewed as one that never happened because it was never legal. Let’s say that you got married while drunk. That could allow you to annul the marriage.
Alcoholism, however, doesn’t provide you with enough legal ground to annul the marriage. You might do this to gain an advantage in the child custody battle, but it won’t have an impact on the distribution of assets.
When divorcing an alcoholic who is also the family’s financial support, one needs to tread carefully because it may not equate to financial gains. The courts don’t penalize alcoholics but rather they look at behavioral patterns. That could mean that you walk away with little in a divorce, and without a liferaft, the rapids can rush in fast and violently.
Alcoholism has ruined marriages in every sector of society from the elite of Hollywood to everyday households. Addiction can exacerbate problems because communication becomes more difficult with an alcoholic. A married couple cannot work through their problems when one has an addiction and cannot talk about them to resolve them.
Over time, flashpoints in a marriage will get stronger, and if they aren’t resolved, the relationship can become hostile and tense. To highlight the extent of the problem, one study found how of the 17,000 surveyed, half of those with alcoholism had gotten a divorce.