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How can alcohol dependency affect your divorce?

On Behalf of | Aug 28, 2023 | Family Law

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported that over 14 million people in the United States suffer from alcohol dependency which also leads a further instances of divorce. Navigating the tumultuous waters of a divorce is challenging enough without the added complications of alcohol dependency. In Maryland, the issues surrounding alcohol and its impacts weigh heavily on divorce proceedings.

In such scenarios, it is not just about the immediate effects of the dependency but the ripple effects it has on every aspect of the divorce, and it is important to understand how it could impact you.

Child custody decisions

The court prioritizes the best interest of the child when deciding custody arrangements. If you or your spouse has an alcohol dependency, the court might see it as a risk. Concerns about the dependent party’s ability to provide a safe and stable environment for the child might arise. This could lead to the parent with alcohol problems receiving limited custody or supervised visitation rights.

Division of assets

Maryland follows the equitable distribution rule, meaning the court divides marital assets fairly, not always equally. If alcohol dependency has caused financial problems like job loss or excessive alcohol-related spending, it can affect how the court divides assets. The non-dependent party might argue for a more significant portion of the assets to compensate for the financial instability the other party introduced.

Alimony considerations

Alimony aims to help a lower-earning spouse maintain a lifestyle similar to the one during the marriage. If alcohol dependency contributed to the end of the relationship or affected the dependent party’s ability to earn, it could factor into alimony decisions.

Impact on marital misconduct claims

In Maryland, if one party cites marital misconduct as a divorce reason, alcohol dependency can become a factor. Chronic alcohol problems might qualify as neglect or abandonment, which can sway the court’s decisions.

If you struggle with alcohol dependency, it is important to understand these potential effects so you can better prepare for the challenges ahead and strive for resolutions that serve everyone’s best interests.