Question: I was reading your blog and I have a question. My wife and I are getting a divorce. We live in Alpharetta. Our kids go to school in Alpharetta. My wife has a serious drinking problem and a drug problem. She is always drinking something whether by herself or with her friends. It could be beer, wine or liquor. And her friends all drink too. They're a bunch of alcoholics. She's tried AA and NA. She also abuses her anti-anxiety drugs and her depression medications. I've caught her at breakfast with eggs, toast, vodka and anti-depressants. She calls that her “little brunch.”
Even when she plays tennis her and her girlfriends are drinking. Sometimes I wonder if the “A” in ALTA stands for alcoholic. It's like the whole tennis team should be at an AA meeting. The other day I caught her passed out in front of her favorite reality TV show – and it was 11:00 a.m.!!!! I tried to take it as much as possible but since I travel a lot for work I'm scared that she'll do something dumb and hurt the kids just by mistake. My son asked why “mommy drinks out of a smelly bottle when she drives me.”
What will a judge say when I show evidence (like a video and pictures) that show she has a drinking and drug problem? We go to court in Fulton County.
Answer: As divorce and family lawyers, we receive many questions about a spouse's dependency on alcohol and/or drugs. We understand your frustration. Many people suffer from alcoholism and many people are drug addicts. It cuts across all socio-economic demographics. It just tends to be better hidden with wealthier people. People who recognize that a problem exists and seek treatment should be congratulated. AA and NA are both great programs that have helped millions of Americans.
As for how it will play out in court, that depends on factors like quality of evidence, the specific facts and circumstances of the matter and, of course, how a judge interprets it all. In terms of custody issues, the standard is “best interests of the child.” Accordingly, a judge will seek to act in a manner that is best for the children involved. If your wife has anywhere near the problem you describe, that could certainly have a substantial impact on how the case is decided. It sounds like the children could be in danger (particularly if she is drinking and driving; that is the crime of DUI).
We are experienced and knowledgeable divorce and family law attorneys. Our experience tremendously helps our clients: we have served as a magistrate judge, an assistant county attorney and an assistant attorney general. At the Sherman Law Group we try to answer as many questions as possible on our blog. If you have a question, email it to us and we'll do our best to answer it. The more facts you can provide, the more comprehensive our response will be. No names will be used. If you need to speak with an Alpharetta family and divorce lawyer, call us at 678-215-4106 so we can evaluate your case.