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Study: Divorce more likely if 1 spouse imbibes more than another

Liquor flows during the holidays. For many in the Pleasanton area it likely is simply a reflection of a desire to be of good cheer. There's nothing wrong with that, if done responsibly. Very often, couples share in the festivities together.

Some individuals overdo it, however. And a new study suggests that where there's a difference in how much one spouse drinks compared to the other, the chance of divorce goes up markedly.

What may be particularly interesting in this study out of the University of Buffalo is that the issue does not appear to be related to the fact that drinking occurs. Rather, the problems develop if the spouses have different drinking habits.

That's the conclusion researchers drew after studying a group of newlywed couples for 9 years. Those spouses who had divergent drinking habits ended up divorcing half the time. Those who tended to match each other on the drinking scale split only 30 percent of the time. It didn't matter if the spouses in the second group were non-drinkers or heavy drinkers.  

The study's chief author says he thinks the critical tell in such situations is social engagement. Couples with uneven liquor habits probably don't go out together much, and that can hurt a marriage. Further, he suggests that a difference of opinion about drinking could be a good indicator that a couple lacks compatibility for marriage in the first place. 

There are typically many factors that contribute to a couple deciding to get a divorce. Alcohol use by one spouse may be one, but there can be so many others. Dealing with all of them in a way that keeps the parties focused on achieving legal solutions appropriate to their particular situation is something always best done with the help of an experienced attorney.

Source: NBC News, "Divorce is more likely when one spouse drinks more than the other," Ashley Balcerzak, Dec. 26, 2013

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5700 Stoneridge Mall Road Suite 230 Pleasanton, CA 94588

The Koblin Family Law Center
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