There are many reasons that you might decide to go through with a divorce. One of them could be that you have a spouse who is dealing with a substance use disorder. Alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder, is just one of the substance use disorders that could negatively impact your marriage.
Alcoholism is a common reason for people to seek divorce, and it may even be a grounds for divorce (although Colorado is a no-fault state, so you only need to show an irretrievable breakdown of your marriage to divorce).
The reason it matters if one of the two spouses is addicted to alcohol is primarily related to custody. If you have children, seeking custody is easier for the parent who has no substance use disorder than it is for the parent who has one.
How do you prove that your spouse has a problem with alcohol in court?
If you are the sober spouse and want to make sure that you have the best chances of getting custody and the items you want from your divorce, showing that alcoholism is playing a role in your divorce could help. To do this, you would want to have evidence of the alcohol use disorder, such as:
- Video footage
- Accident reports
- Police reports
- Direct testimony from friends or colleagues
- Medical records
- Court orders from DUI cases
These and other kinds of evidence may help you show that your spouse has an addiction that is bringing your marriage to an end and that could negatively influence your children.
Does drinking always affect custody?
Not necessarily. Moderate drinking is relatively normal, so unless that behavior is dangerous to your children, the other parent may not have their custody rights impacted. On the other hand, if the other parent is a significant drinker and is heavily intoxicated often, the court may look at that negatively when determining if your spouse has the ability to provide for and care for their children adequately when they have custody.
Sobriety can matter, too. If your spouse once had a drinking problem but is now sober, then this could be seen positively in court rather than negatively. All these factors have to be considered during various parts of your divorce case.