Can I file for divorce on the grounds of having an alcoholic spouse? 48 Answers as of July 03, 2013

Over the years I feel that my spouse has developed a drinking problem. I tried to get him help, but he denies everything. He is constantly getting drunk around our kids and getting angry over small things. He hasn't been abusive, but he does say things around the children that are inappropriate. What can I do in this case? I need to get myself and my children out of this situation.

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The English Law Firm
The English Law Firm | Robert English
You don't need any specific grounds to file divorce in California. You can go ahead and file.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/12/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Alcoholism itself is not grounds for divorce. However, irreconcilable differences is. It sounds to me like you want him to stop drinking (this is a problem for you) and he won't stop. Accordingly, the problem will not go away and you have irreconcilable differences.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/11/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
The easiest thing to do would be to file claiming that the marriage has broken down completely (no fault divorce). In addition, your attorney should file various motions to establish custody, access and support as well as exclusive possession of the marital residence.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/10/2011
Advanced Litigation Services
Advanced Litigation Services | Joseph Iarussi
Nevada is a No fault divorce state.Any one who wants a divorce can get one. You do not need a specific reason to file.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/10/2011
Horizons Law Group, LLC
Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
You do not need grounds to file a divorce in Wisconsin. Sounds like there could be some emotional abuse going on that you are not admitting to right now. At least not a healthy situation for yourself and the children.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 8/9/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Grounds are not necessary to file divorce in a no-fault state such as Minnesota. All that is required is that one party believes there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    ROWE LAW FIRM
    ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
    "Habitual intemperance" is the Louisiana term for abuse of alcohol or drugs giving rise to grounds for divorce. While fault grounds are no longer required in Louisiana, whether or not one is a habitual alcohol abuser will have an impact on child custody and support, and if the other spouse has no fault in the breakup of the marriage, may also allow the non-abuser to be eligible for permanent spousal support. You may certainly file for divorce and allege alcohol abuse as the reason for the breakup and the reason that you should have custody of the children.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    The Law Office of Erin Farley
    The Law Office of Erin Farley | Erin Farley
    You do not need a "reason" to file for dissolution in California. California is a "no fault" state; all that is needed is for one to form the intent to permanently separate because of irreconcilable differences. Your concern about your spouse's drinking becomes an issue when it comes to custody. If he is drinking around the children, it is a *valid* concern and one that should definitely be addressed if he is to have split custody or visitation. In California, both parties are required to attend a session with a recommending counselor (mediator) to try and determine an appropriate parenting plan for the children during and after the divorce process. Make sure the mediator understands your concerns and has an idea of the history of the drinking patterns. Orders can be made to prohibit any consumption of alcohol within 12 hours of custodial time with the children. Parenting education can also be ordered to curtail inappropriate statements around the children.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    You don't need a reason in Connecticut.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Rhonda R. Werner Schultz, PL
    Rhonda R. Werner Schultz, PL | Rhonda R. Werner Schultz
    In Florida, the primary ground for divorce is that your marriage is irretrievably broken. No additional grounds are needed; no need to prove that your Husband is an alcoholic. If you believe you and your children need to be away from your Husband, you can file for divorce, and the divorce will be granted at some point when you and your Husband agree on the property division, support and parenting plan for the kids. If you can't agree on these issues, then a judge will decide them at a trial. You should consult with a skilled attorney to find out what your options are and the likely outcome in your area. Each court is different and it is helpful to obtain assistance from someone who practices law in your county/town.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    I am sorry to hear this. One of the things that I hear a lot is that my client's spouse is drinking is destroying the marriage. You have some options, and you need some good legal advice before you take action. I can help you with this. And I will tell you up front what it will cost to do this for you. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the telephone call and no charge for the first office visit.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    You can file based on the alcoholism but you can also get a no fault divorce which is easier to prove and will get you out of the situation faster.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    In California you do not need to have grounds to divorce your spouse. You may however wish to have the court make orders for supervised visitations due to his drinking problem. You will also be able to request orders that he not be able to drink within 24 hours of having visitation with your children. You should consult with an attorney to discuss your particular case so that they may be able to advise you as to how to make sure that you and the children are protected when leaving.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
    The below lists out all the possible grounds for a divorce in Georgia. The most common ground from the list below is that the marriage is irretrievably broken due to irreconcilable differences. (1) Intermarriage by persons within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity or affinity; (2) Mental incapacity at the time of the marriage; (3) Impotency at the time of the marriage; (4) Force, menace, duress, or fraud in obtaining the marriage; (5) Pregnancy of the wife by a man other than the husband, at the time of the marriage, unknown to the husband; (6) Adultery in either of the parties after marriage; (7) Willful and continued desertion by either of the parties for the term of one year; (8) The conviction of either party for an offense involving moral turpitude, under which he is sentenced to imprisonment in a penal institution for a term of two years or longer; (9) Habitual intoxication; (10) Cruel treatment, which shall consist of the willful infliction of pain, bodily or mental, upon the complaining party, such as reasonably justifies apprehension of danger to life, limb, or health; (11) Incurable mental illness. (12) Habitual drug addiction, which shall consist of addiction to any controlled substance as defined in Article 2 of Chapter 13 of Title 16; (13) The marriage is irretrievably broken. Under no circumstances shall the court grant a divorce on this ground until not less than 30 days from the date of service on the respondent.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    In Ohio, alcoholism is one of several grounds for divorce which may apply. please see a domestic relations attorney near you for further information.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    Washington is a "no fault" State. You do not need grounds to get a divorce. His drinking however will be relevant when developing a parenting plan. You should file for divorce and get temporary orders.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    In Washington you don't need "grounds" for filing a divorce.It is a no fault state.You may want appropriate provisions in your parenting plan to deal with the drinking however.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
    The grounds for a divorce in California are: Irreconcilable Differences. Incurable Insanity. Incestuous Marriage. Bigamous Marriage. Underage at time of marriage. Prior existing marriage. Unsound Mind. Fraud. Force. Physical Incapacity. Bar far the most used basis is Irreconcilable Differences. Any excuse will suffice, and no excuse is required to be stated other than the words "Irreconcilable Differences." Therefore anyone may obtain a divorce in California whether the other spouse wants it or not. No consent is required, ever.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    In Florida, you don't need any "grounds" for divorce, other than that you want one because you no longer want to be married to the person (i.e. marriage is irretrievably broken)
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    The Coyle Law Office
    The Coyle Law Office | T. Andrew Coyle
    The divorce statute in Illinois does provide that a divorce can be granted when one party has been "habitually drunk" for 2 years or more. However, you may want to discuss with an attorney the appropriate plan for filing for divorce as you will need to prove your grounds.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    Yes. A confirmed habit of drunkenness can serve as a "fault" for divorce. However, you can also file for divorce based on "irretrievable breakdown" (no-fault divorce), where you don't really need a reason other than the fact that you want a divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
    Florida is a no-fault state, so as long as you believe that your marriage is irretrievably broken, that is sufficient grounds. You should try to meet with a family law attorney in your area as long as possible so that you can find out about what your options are.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C.
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C. | Paul A. Eads
    Irreconcilable differences is your election. California is a no fault state.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Linda C. Garrett Law
    Linda C. Garrett Law | Linda Garrett
    You can file even if he is NOT an alcoholic. In California, the legal basis can be "irreconcilable differences." In short, this means you don't need a reason! As the legal phrase says, your you cannot resolve your differences. If financial issues are preventing you for hiring attorney, know that many attorneys, such as myself, provide 3 levels of services: 1) full scope representation-where the attorney prepares all the paperwork and fully represents you from beginning to end of case; 2) limited scope representation-where the attorney coaches you and YOU represent yourself. In this scenario, the attorney answers any and all of your questions related to facts of case, law, and preparation of documents; 3) document preparation only-documents properly prepared by an attorney-to ensure they are filled out correctly. A fourth option is to buy a good book on the subject.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy | Robert W. Bellamy
    The grounds for divorce in Alabama areset out in Alabama Code 30-2-1. 30-2-1(a)(6) states: The circuit court has power to divorce persons from the bonds of matrimony, upon a complaint filed by one of the parties. For becoming addicted after marriage to habitual drunkenness or to habitual use of opium, morphine, cocaine or other like drug.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    There are no "grounds" to file for divorce in Arizona other than that "the marriage is irretrievably broken with no reasonable prospect of reconciliation." If his drinking affects his ability to parent the children, then it can be relevant in determining the child-related issues, but you do not allege the drinking itself as the "grounds" for the divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    Keep in mind the kind of behavior your spouse is exhibiting is abusive to you as well as the children. In California, you need only claim irreconcilable differences when you file for divorce. I urge you to file a divorce and an order to show cause requesting sole legal and physical custody of the children, support and a request that husband not live in the house due to his drinking and disruptive behavior.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
    You can file for divorce for any reason. The paperwork will generally cite "irreconcilable differences," which basically just means you two are unable to work through your issues.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Colorado only requires that you assert that "the marriage is irretrievably broken." In simple terms, that just means that you don't want to remain in the marriage & no specific reasons are necessary. There is no defense that your husband can assert to prevent the marriage from being dissolved, so the only potential disputes concern the financial issues and parenting issues.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We recommend you retain a divorce attorney concerning all your rights and options, including potentially raising the fault ground concerning addiction. Again, see a divorce attorney ASAP! Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    You can file for divorce on fault grounds (intoxication) or no fault grounds. You should also see a therapist regarding how to handle the situation with the children, and also for your own emotional strength.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    Yes, but you need only claim irreconcilable differences for six months or more to get a divorce.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Elmbrook Law Offices
    Elmbrook Law Offices | Gregory Straub
    Wisconsin is a no fault divorce state. You can file a divorce action without any specific reason. If one party seeks a divorce, the Court will not stop it from happening even if the other party hopes to remain married.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    You don't need grounds in WI. You just have to state that your marriage is irretrievably broken with no prospect of reconciliation.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    You do not need "grounds" to get divorced in Washington. You just need to be willing to swear that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Where your spouse's alcoholism may come into plan is in the parenting plan. You will want to make a motion for temporary orders early in the case. You'll also need to document his drinking. You'll need to sake the court to make you the primary residential parent with some sort of limits or conditions on your spouse's contact with the children .
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    You can get a divorce, and you don't have to prove your spouse is an alcoholic.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    You do not need a good reason to file for divorce in PA. It is a No-Fault Divorce state. While perhaps divorce should be tougher to get to discourage it, it is easy to just allege "Irreconcilable Differences."
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Georgia has 13 grounds for divorce. The simplest to use requires no real proof (the marriage is irretrievably broken) and even if a fault ground (such as habitual intoxication or cruel treatment) is alleged, the no fault ground also needs to be there in case fault is not proven.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO
    Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO | Ryan J. Lewis
    Nebraska is a no fault state. You do not need a reason to file for divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    Florida is a No Fault state. You do not need grounds to file for divorce. Alcoholism certainly could come into play as it pertains to child custody, if he even chooses to fight you on that matter. I suggest you consult a local Family Law attorney to discuss your case in greater detail and learn all of your rights and options.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Law Office of Nora Rilo
    Law Office of Nora Rilo | Nora Rilo
    The state of Florida is a no fault state, so you can file for divorce due to irreconsible differences, his problem can be used to limit his contact with the children, if it is well documented to the court.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    In California, the reason for divorce is irrelevant. California is a "no fault" state. Meaning, the you only check a box on the Divorce Petition indicating "irreconcilable differences." If you need further assistance, it would be best to contact a local family law lawyer. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    You can file for a divorce and you do not have to have any specific legal grounds. You need to work with an experienced family law firm to help you make certain you recover the proper amount of child custody, spousal support and child support and your share of the assets are protected.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/8/2011
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