4 Critical Things to Know About Divorcing an Alcoholic

Divorce can be even harder when alcoholism is involved.

Below are some things consider when divorcing an alcoholic.

Habitual Drunkenness Provides Grounds for Divorce

South Carolina law allows for both no-fault and fault-based grounds for divorce. If your spouse is an alcoholic, you can use this as grounds to divorce them. When making accusations of fault, you must also prove the allegations. Evidence used when proving habitual drunkenness can include police reports, such as if your spouse was ever charged with drunk driving, and previous admission to any treatment facility. You must also prove that the drinking became such a problem, it led to the breakdown of the marriage.

You May Need an Order of Protection

Any divorce case has the potential for disputes and conflict. When divorcing an alcoholic, the emotional stress placed on each of you will become much greater. Arguments between you and your spouse may start to become physical, even if they were not before.

If you fear for your safety during the divorce process, you may have to obtain an order of protection. In cases where your safety and well-being is at great risk, you may have to ask for an order of protection at the time you file for divorce. An order of protection can also protect your children when you are divorcing an alcoholic.

You May Need Expert Witnesses

Addiction is a very complicated issue. It also affects people differently. While one person may seem like a highly functioning alcoholic, others may spend most of their time asleep on the couch. Determining how your spouse’s alcoholism will affect certain aspects of life, such as child custody, often requires the use of expert witnesses. An expert witness can testify about how addiction will affect the children, or whether it affects your spouse’s employability. An expert can also advise on whether treatment is needed, and which type is most appropriate.

Most people do not have a network of expert witnesses they can reach out to for help with their case. A family lawyer in South Carolina will already have a relationship with these experts, so they can advise on your case.

Alcoholism Affects Child Custody

Your spouse’s alcoholism could impact child custody but again, you will have to prove  your case. The courts will only consider what is in the best interests of the children when making decisions on child custody matters. If you can present evidence that shows your child’s safety is in jeopardy when they are with your spouse, it could help your child custody case.

A child custody evaluator may also be used to help determine what is in the best interests of the child. The evaluator may talk to you, your spouse, your children, and your children’s teachers to determine what is in their best interests.

Our Family Lawyers in South Carolina Can Help with Your Case

Divorce is never easy, and it can become even more complicated when you are divorcing an alcoholic. At The Peck Law Firm, our South Carolina family lawyers can help you overcome the challenges these cases present so you obtain the fair settlement you deserve. Call us today at 843-631-7117 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.