Claudette-Jean Girard, Attorney at Law
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Family Law Attorney

I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

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Alcohol consumption can contribute to divorce in Massachusetts

It may surprise some readers in Massachusetts to learn that couples who report that they are light drinkers have a divorce rate of 5.8 percent. This number reflects those who self-reported the amount that they drank in a recent large study. In addition, the study notes that those who consume excessive amounts of alcohol are the most likely to go through the divorce process.

In the study, researchers found that if one spouse consumed more alcohol than the other, the couple was more likely to end their marriage in divorce. In addition, married women consumed more alcohol than single women, but married men consumed slightly less than their single counterparts. This, some suggest, may reflect the influence of male spouses on their wives.

In fact, the study suggested that the amount of alcohol consumed by the female member of a marriage was likely to influence the chance for divorce. It is not clear why drinking had this effect on the unions. However, researchers say that they discovered that it might benefit those seeking to get married to consider the alcohol consumption of their future spouse. Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to abuse, which may be an important consideration.

The end of a marriage in Massachusetts can come for a myriad of reasons. For some people, the consumption of alcohol by one of the spouses leads to the need to end a marriage. When that happens, it is important that the spouses work to understand the laws as they apply to their situation and to the divorce process in our state.

Source:, "Uneven or heavy alcohol use predicts divorce," Lois M. Collins, Feb. 17, 2013

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