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Attorneys at Raleigh Divorce Law Firm

How can alcohol use affect my divorce and child custody case?

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2022 | Divorce |

A drink with friends with dinner or after a long day at work is a common occurrence. Many people kick back and relax with an alcoholic beverage on a regular basis. Even so, it is no secret that alcohol can significantly affect the chemistry of the brain – and be addictive.

One’s relationship with alcohol can be a complicated issue. That relationship can affect others as well, particularly when it comes to family.

Studies indicate alcoholism can influence a divorce

An addiction to alcohol is the most common type of addiction individuals suffer across the United States. This addiction, however, could affect the chances of getting divorced, according to recent studies.

The University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions found that the marriages of 50% of couples, in which one spouse drank heavily, ended in divorce. There are many reasons why alcohol abuse can seriously impact a relationship, considering how it often impacts someone’s overall health and increases the risks of aggression.

The effects of an addiction can also jeopardize the trust that a relationship is founded on. For example, people suffering from alcoholism often lie about their dependency on the substance and even hide their consumption.

It can influence a custody decision as well

When parents divorce, the child’s best interests are critical factors in making a custody arrangement. North Carolina law specifically states that custody orders must “promote the interest and welfare of the child.”

If one parent suffers from alcohol use disorder, it might affect that arrangement – and the child’s welfare. Depending on the circumstances, a substance abuse or addiction issue could hinder two essential factors of the child’s best interests:

  • The safety of the child
  • The parent’s ability to care for the child

Courts take a parent’s substance abuse very seriously. Evidence of a parent’s overindulgence could put their parenting time and rights at risk. If you have issues with alcohol use – yours or your partner’s – it can be a huge factor when it comes to how your divorce process plays out. Seek professional help for treatment and legal advice.