Thursday, October 27, 2011

And It's All Your Fault! MA "Fault" Based Divorce #4: Intoxication

In order to prove this "fault"-based ground for divorce, you need to convince the court that your spouse has "gross and confirmed habits of intoxication caused by voluntary and excessive use of intoxicating liquor, opium, or other drugs." The potential benefit of filing for divorce on this ground is to highlight the issue of drug or alcohol use which could also be relevant to any custody arrangement for children.

This is not to say, however, that a court would treat a case filed on "no fault" grounds any differently if one parent has an addiction that might affect his or her ability to care for the children. If custody is contested, the court will have to look at both parents to determine what is in the best interests of the children, regardless of whether the case if filed as a "no fault" divorce or a "fault"-based divorce. Because of this, along with the difficulty of proving a "gross and confirmed habit of intoxication," this ground for divorce is rarely used in favor of "no fault" divorce.

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