It can lead to legal problems, financial stress, unemployment, and cause serious health issues. Alcohol use is one of the leading reasons couples file for divorce in the United States. According to the National Institute of Health, alcoholism and divorce statistics indicate that one liter more of alcohol consumption per capita can increase divorce rates by as much as 20%. When divorcing an alcoholic spouse, it is important to consider any potential risks they may pose to your children. Depending on the severity of the addiction, a court may require additional safeguards such as supervised visitation or even temporarily removing the alcoholic parent from the home.
You should never feel ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help when dealing with an alcoholic spouse. It is important to remember that you are not alone in this process, and there are professionals who are experienced in helping individuals who are going through a divorce due to an alcoholic spouse. Divorce is a difficult and complex process, no matter the circumstances. Unfortunately, divorcing a spouse who is an alcoholic can add an extra layer of complexity and confusion. According to research from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 16 million Americans have an alcohol use disorder (AUD).
My experience with visitation and child custody
Beyond the anxiety, stress, and worry that a sober spouse endures with daily drinking, they often experience traumatic events ranging from abuse, deceit, mental health issues like depression, and more. These records will be invaluable in determining a suitable custody arrangement that reflects the child’s best interests. Here is how I feel about this, and for anyone divorcing an alcoholic. For those who need professional advice, it can be helpful to find a therapist in your community who specializes in addictive illness and recovery. If you have tried all other measures to change the addictive family system and nothing has worked, you may want to look into conducting an intervention.
If you have children, child custody will be one of the biggest issues in your divorce from an alcoholic spouse. Although every state wants what’s in the child’s best interest the processes and rules can vary from state to state when both children and alcoholics are involved. This can make it hard to be around or live with a person, much less negotiate a separation agreement, financial arrangement, custody agreement or parenting plan.
What is the California Divorce Waiting Period of Six Months?
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If your spouse has an alcohol addiction, they will show symptoms and signs1 of an alcohol use disorder. Remember that occasionally drinking too much doesn’t mean your spouse has an alcohol use disorder. If the person with the addiction is willing to seek treatment and comply with their program’s rules and if both partners are willing to undergo professional counseling, then reconciliation may be possible. However, there are many cases in which the addiction has resulted in too much pain and distrust. Either way, it’s important for both partners to have realistic expectations of how divorce would affect their relationships, finances and general well-being. Drinking alcohol and the resulting impact on a relationship and family life commonly feature as examples of such behaviour.
Also, never try to talk to an alcoholic about quitting drinking if the person has been drinking. Do it when he or she is sober.
It’s important to seek professional guidance with regard to the strategy you use in moving forward. I recommend checking out 12-step programs such as Al-anon, CoDA (Codependents Anonymous), ACoA (Adult Children of Alcoholics), as well as the many companion programs for gamblers, sex addicts, food addicts and more. For example, if your spouse drives while intoxicated, you are the one who sits home and worries; if he or she gets arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), you are the one who gets the call at 2 A.M. You have to deal with the person you love behaving irrationally, getting sick, perhaps lying, cheating or any other number of unacceptable behaviors and, on top of that, you are legally bound to this person. That means that you bear the brunt and are on the hook for any damage they may cause. If you have a joint account with your alcoholic spouse, call your bank to see if you can lower the daily withdrawal limit.
- He had told me that he had stopped drinking, but then it came out that he had hidden a box of wine in the basement.
- When divorcing an alcoholic spouse, it is important for both parties to set boundaries when communicating about the divorce process.
- However, it is important to remember that your spouse likely has a substance abuse disorder and may need professional help and alcohol withdrawal treatment.
- However, past attempts at rehabilitation, medical records, witnesses to the alcohol abuse, admissions of the alcohol abuse, and similar evidence can also corroborate both the past and ongoing alcohol abuse.
- Unfortunately, divorcing a spouse who is an alcoholic can add an extra layer of complexity and confusion.
In fact, many people feel more depressed after drinking alcohol. For individuals struggling with addiction to alcohol and drugs, Harris House helps people achieve sobriety and become healthy and productive individuals. Since our founding in 1961, Harris House has grown to become a top-rated non-profit treatment center. Alcohol may be used in moderation and according to guidelines set forth by the CDC. There are married couples who can enjoy wine for dinner on occasion or a night out with friends.
However, there are some general ways alcoholism can make divorce more difficult. Divorcing an alcoholic is a brutal, messy situation that can feel downright impossible. Depending upon a state’s regulations, ARAG’s legal insurance divorce after sobriety plan may be considered an insurance product or a service product. Insurance products are underwritten by ARAG Insurance Company of Des Moines, Iowa. This material is for illustrative purposes only and is not a contract.