Divorcing an Alcoholic Brings a Different Set of Challenges

Even in the best of circumstances, the divorce process is probably one of the most stressful experiences that you’ll have during your lifetime. Divorcing an alcoholic spouse ranks right up there with some of the most challenging divorces because the level of difficulty dealing with a spouse with an alcohol abuse problem. Of course this varies from situation to situation.

Dealing with your alcoholic spouse can be unpredictable which opens these types of divorce proceedings to more potential obstacles. People who abuse alcohol can be completely reasonable one week, willing to cooperate and compromise as you both begin to navigate the divorce process, and then the next week be totally unreasonable and unwilling to work together to reach an amicable settlement.

This is why many spouses of alcoholics struggle greatly with making the decision to remain married vs. going through what could be a very difficult and frustrating marital dissolution experience, fraught with emotional pain, anger, and even the threat of verbal or physical abuse. This can be especially true if children are involved because not only have they been seriously affected having to live with an alcoholic parent, but are also deeply traumatized when forced to deal with the breakup of their family.

The Hurdles you Might Face

Alcoholism is a disease. The effects of this disease are far-reaching, creating tremendous problems, not only for the alcoholic husband or wife, but for their spouses, children, close family, and friends.

When making the decision about divorcing an alcoholic spouse, there will be many factors for you to take into consideration, especially when children are involved. However, it’s the job of the court to focus on the best interests of the children. Section 3011 of the California Family Code states that alcohol abuse is a consideration when determining what’s in the best interest of your children and their safety with respect to child custody and visitation issues, especially when the alcoholic parent may present a danger to the children.

There are also financial considerations that a person divorcing an alcoholic has to face. Does the alcoholic spouse provide the lion’s share of the family’s financial support or is he or she the lower income earner or not able to or is refusing to bring any income into the marriage? How do these different scenarios affect spousal and child support?

The Type of Attorney you Will Need

While most divorces are going to present some complications for the individuals involved, divorcing an alcoholic spouse will present some unique challenges — financial, emotional, and psychological.

Therefore, it’s important that you enlist the services of an experienced family law firm, such as Buncher Family Law, to help guide and support you through the divorce process while protecting your best interests and those of your family.

At Buncher Family Law, our years of experience and expertise in family law matters, from child custody issues such as move away orders or visitation rights to protecting vulnerable clients and their families with a restraining order when domestic violence is involved, make it possible for our attorneys to provide exceptional care to all of our clients.

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Posted in Divorce, Domestic Violence, Support.