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Heavy drinking a clear path to divorce, study shows

The decision to marry often includes, in wedding ceremonies, the vow to remain together "until death do us part." That promise, however, appears to be losing much of its iron-clad connotation: divorce rates have steadily risen in the past decade as the challenges of maintaining a tranquil union become more and more pronounced.

The uptick in divorce both here in Texas and across the nation has not been entirely on account of partners' fickleness, career pressures, and the anxiety of an unstable economy. Many once-committed, loving husbands and wives are choosing rightfully to walk away from a marriage that has become unhealthy, even dangerous.

New findings to be published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research have tied one spouse's abuse of alcohol, or outright alcoholism, with a heightened likelihood of divorce. The journal's study drew upon data from almost 20,000 couples and found that marriages in which drinking is a problem, especially those in which only one partner has an alcohol addiction, are much more likely to end in legal separation.

The study also made a clear note the problematic link between alcohol abuse in a household and a heightened rate of verbal and physical abuse-both causes for an expedient divorce.

While partners should always make their best effort to be aware of their wife or husband-to-be's drinking habits before committing to marriage, in many instances it's impossible to predict that a drinking problem or full-blown alcoholism will develop, or if one already exists. Those that find themselves in a troubling position, one in which their partner needs treatment, should also contact a family law attorney and explore the legal divorce and child custody options available to them.

Source: Fox News, "Heavy drinking raises risk of divorce," Stephanie Pappas, Feb. 6, 2013

•· Divorce can, in many cases, be the best and most healthy decision for both partners. To learn more, visit our Dallas divorce page.

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