Millions of Americans struggle with alcohol-related or drug-related issues and these factors also very often emerge as factors in divorces.
When alcohol emerges as a factor in a divorce, the divorce can become emotionally volatile. The person who is asking for the divorce, as well the person who’s struggling with the alcohol abuse, may feel guilty. The person who is considering the divorce may feel guilty because he or she would really like the other spouse to stop being dependent on alcohol. That inevitably leads to feelings of guilt, deep sadness, and failure.
Besides, when alcoholism is a factor in the divorce, questions of child custody become even more painful to answer. The court will prioritize the best interests of the child when it comes to determining child custody, specifically the severity of the alcohol problem. That is because someone who has a severe alcohol problem may not be in a position to take care of the children, or undertake the responsibility of caring for the children even for a short period of time. In such cases, therefore, the court may order supervised visitation. That is usually very painful for the alcoholic parent to bear.
Proving that your spouse has an alcohol-related problem that makes him an unfit parent can be also challenging for you. You might have to bring in witnesses, including family members and friends, and also may have to provide other visual evidence of intoxicated behavior and other types of evidence. Also remember that the court may give your spouse time to get rid of the alcohol problem, through rehabilitation or an alcohol abuse program.
In a divorce like this, it’s important to be firm, but also sensitive. If you are currently trying to end your marriage with an alcoholic spouse, speak to a Colorado divorce lawyer about how you can best protect your interests.