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DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC Board certified Family Law Specialist*

Arizona divorce proceedings fueled by alcohol?

It is perhaps no secret to Arizona readers that heavy consumption of alcohol often engenders problems on the job and at home. A study that began in the mid 1980s and lasted over 15 years targeted the effects of excessive alcohol use on marriages. After reviewing the data culled from following the progress of almost 20,000 marriages, the study concluded that marriages where one spouse drank heavily were more likely to end in divorce.

At the outset of the study, couples were asked to respond to a number of questions, particularly about the consumption of alcohol as well as emotional distress. As the couples were tracked over the course of the study, those that divorced were noted. One apparent conclusion from the reported results was that heavy use of alcohol threatens marriage.

Indeed, in those instances where the wife was the heavy drinker, divorce was even more common. One theory advanced for this result finding is that heavy drinking was more tolerated socially among male spouses. Another is that the effect of alcohol on many women may be more intense.

While the findings seem to corroborate what many in Arizona may already believe, there is no denying that issues surrounding alcohol are problematic in marriages. For some, the emotional toil may have grown to the point where divorce seems the appropriate path. For those facing these difficult issues, some may take comfort in realizing they do not have to confront these problems alone. Assistance is available to navigate through divorce proceedings in an effort to ensure an equitable settlement of all relevant issues.

Source:, "Heavy Drinking Raises Risk of Divorce," Stephanie Pappas, Feb. 5, 2013

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