Marriages Torn Apart by Alcoholism

August 15, 2016 | Divorce, Legal Perspective

Icon for author Todd Begg Todd Begg

The National Alcoholism Center provides that over 7 percent of Pennsylvanians suffered from alcohol abuse or dependence over the past year.  With a Pennsylvania population of 12,802,503 residents as of July 1, 2015, 7 percent totals a staggering 896,175 individuals suffering from alcoholism.

Individuals suffering from alcoholism bring many negative consequences into a marriage and can even complicate the divorce process including:

  • Lack of employment: While many people with a drinking problem maintain a job, many others are terminated from their employment after arriving to work intoxicated, going in late, missing work as a result of consuming alcohol or even consuming alcohol during business hours.  Individuals who are terminated as a result of alcoholism either remain unemployed or find it necessary to accept menial employment.
  • Increased debt: An alcoholic spouse’s lack of employment can cause financial strain on a marriage.  Unfortunately, excessive drinking, risky behavior, and even infidelity add to the debt incurred by the married couple.  Add to that the legal fees associated with a DUI charge or other criminal matter and it is clear to see how alcoholism destroys the financial stability of any couple.
  • Emotional toll: There are many types of emotional complications that can arise when one spouse is an alcoholic.  The non-alcoholic spouse may have to work additional hours or obtain a second job, it may be necessary for them to perform chores that the drinking spouse did not complete and in many instances they are the spouse that has to make excuses to the outside world by calling the alcoholic spouse sick into work and telling stories to explain absences in social situations.   In many relationships involving an alcoholic, there can also be verbal and/or mental abuse at the hands of the alcoholic.  When the alcoholic is abusing the other spouse or children in the family, it is necessary to speak to knowledgeable Pittsburgh divorce lawyers as soon as possible to determine if a Protection From Abuse Order is appropriate.

If you are married to an alcoholic, it is possible that your spouse is not fully aware of the negative effects caused as a result of their drinking. Maybe you have not seriously considered filing for divorce, but if your spouse’s drinking is ruining the life of you and your children, you may not have any other good options, especially if your spouse is refusing to seek treatment for their illness.

It is important to speak with a Pittsburgh divorce lawyer to discuss your spouse’s drinking, the effects on your family, as well as any treatment your spouse has received or refused.  At Pollock Begg Komar Glasser & Vertz LLC, our attorneys are familiar with the ways that an alcoholic can ruin a marriage and they ready to help you.

If you have children, our attorneys can work to develop a plan to prevent your spouse from drinking during their parenting time or take other steps to assure the children’s safety. Call today at (412) 471-9000 to speak to one of our lawyers or use our online contact form.

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