Alcoholics and divorce: a complicated mix

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2021 | Divorce & Legal Separation |

Among the numerous reasons for divorce, alcoholism is a significant item on the list. Whether or not you can point to your spouse’s drinking problem as grounds for divorce depends, for one thing, on where you live. Here’s what people living in California need to know if they’re dealing with the already daunting process of divorce with the additional alcoholism thrown into the mix.

In some states, it is possible to have an at-fault divorce, while other states don’t allow it. California is among those states that don’t give estranged spouses the option to file for at-fault. Still, an ex-partner’s alcohol abuse will often play into any number of rulings related to their divorce. This includes, among other things, the custody of their children.

In most cases, alcoholism by itself isn’t grounds enough for annulments. However, there’s no shortage of ways for your life as a parent to be impacted when alcoholism is brought into the picture. Above all, a history of alcoholism is something that makes winning child custody an uphill battle.

At-fault vs. no-fault

An at-fault divorce means that fault must be proven and shown through evidence in order for the ending of the marriage to be legally accepted. No-fault, on the other hand, only requires irreconcilable differences to be proven – essentially, that the two of you don’t get along with each other anymore.

Grounds for an at-fault divorce vary depending on the state you’re in, but some of the most common examples include:

  • Adultery
  • Cruelty
  • Incurable insanity
  • Physical inability to have sex
  • Confinement in prison

Divorces are never easy, but when they involve alcoholism, they’re all the harder. When you find yourself in such a situation, it’s incredibly helpful just to learn the basics of how the law views these matters so you can prepare yourself for the struggle to come.