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Divorcing an Alcoholic

Divorcing an Alcoholic

Does alcoholism establish grounds for divorce? Alcoholism is a severe condition that dramatically affects a spouse or the addict’s children. Chronic drinking can lead to acts of violence or verbal abuse that negatively impact children's development or inflict a mental health condition on a spouse. There are specific reasons why alcoholism may lead to a marriage ending, but before divorcing an alcoholic, support groups for families witnessing or undergoing alcohol abuse are highly recommended. 

The Effects of Being Married to an Alcoholic 

Alcoholism and marriage are both complicated since chronic drinking imposes emotional and physical threats. There could also be problems outside of substance abuse that may cause marital issues. If a couple was experiencing a poor relationship prior to drug abuse, then a spouse may have turned to alcohol as a means of coping, including reasons such as lack of sexual satisfaction or financial issues. 

If a husband or wife is a chronic drinker, then the negative impacts affect the spouse in more ways than one. The behavior becomes unpredictable and even dangerous when an alcoholic shows no signs of stopping. Alcohol and family violence go hand in hand in these scenarios, and the effects of chronic drinking on the family members include: 

  • Serious financial problems 
  • Trouble sleeping or insomnia
  • Anxiety and depression symptoms
  • Forming PTSD from the traumatic episodes
  • Loss of touch with self and staying with someone out of fear 
  • Forming a substance abuse disorder of your own
  • Children developing substance use disorder (SUD) or mental health disorders 
  • Experiencing traumatic events like physical fighting or intense aggression

Communicating with your significant other about seeking alcohol addiction treatment is vital, especially if these effects are ruining the relationships in the family. Signs of alcoholism include aggressive behavior, mood swings, hiding alcohol, poor work ethic, poor hygiene, and inflicting psychological or emotional damage on others. Speaking with a professional about staging an intervention and seeking the proper medical care necessary is essential to potentially save the marriage. 

Should You Divorce an Alcoholic Spouse?

Divorcing an alcoholic is a long process since, in general, divorce is often messy and causes mental strain. If the addict seeks medical care or a support group, or if the married couple temporarily separates and none of these options are successful, there may be grounds for divorce. In addition, suppose an alcoholic is physically abusing their partner or children, especially in life-threatening ways or causing severe psychological damage and financial strain. In that case, divorce is almost always recommended. 

It’s important to look at the protection rights in your state while trying to divorce an alcoholic. All states now allow no-fault divorce grounds, which can mean fewer worries about fabricated evidence, a shorter wait time for a hearing, and more privacy than an at-fault divorce. However, if you need to prove an alcoholic spouse to the court, then there are numerous ways to do so, including: 

  • Rehab bills 
  • Video evidence 
  • Medical records
  • Criminal records or police reports
  • Accident reports or court orders for DUI cases
  • Witnesses of the abuse or violent behavior

The spouse of the alcoholic should hire a family or divorce lawyer and learn the necessary precautions. Additionally, it’s essential to begin planning for new house arrangements and for custody of the children. Protecting your finances, assets, children, and yourself is crucial during this difficult time. 

Alcoholism and Divorce Help at Banyan Stuart Rehab Center 

At Banyan, we offer a medically monitored detox program for those who are battling chronic drinking or other forms of drug addiction. Our prepared medical staff is ready to guide you through the withdrawal process and design a treatment plan that fits your recovery goals.

We understand that addiction is experienced differently by every individual, and we hate seeing families get torn apart due to substance abuse. Get the help you need to recover now!

Please, don’t wait to speak to a specialist at Banyan Detox Stuart by calling 888-280-4763 today. 


Related Readings: 

Behaviors of an Addict

Effects of Xanax and Alcohol

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.