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A recent study, conducted by the Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions (RIA), has linked the differences in a spouse's alcohol consumption habits to divorce. Kenneth Leonard, Ph.D., RIA director and lead author of the study stated,"Our results indicate that it is the difference between the couple's drinking habits, rather than the drinking itself, that leads to marital dissatisfaction, separation and divorce."

alcohol consumption and marriage Researchers followed 634 couples over the first nine years of their marriage and found that close to 50 percent of couples "where only one partner drank more heavily" would end up divorcing, while the divorce rates for other couples was only 30 percent. The study also found that the divorce rate remained the same for couples where both partners consumed large amounts of alcohol, showing that they were just as likely to stay together as couples who were not heavy drinkers or drinkers at all. "This research provides solid evidence to bolster the commonplace notion that heavy drinking by one partner can lead to divorce. Although some people might think that's a likely outcome, there was surprisingly little data to back up that claim until now," stated Leonard.

The study defined a heavy drinker as one who drank "six or more drinks at one time or drinking to intoxication." And while moderate alcohol consumption may not be harmful or lead to alcoholism, MedlinePlus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, reports that "about 18 million adult Americans are alcoholics or have alcohol problems." Alcoholism is a disease with four main features, including craving, loss of control, physical dependence and tolerance.

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ReflectionDeciding to file for divorce can be arduous and stressful.  Occasionally that is because the filer is not aware of how the process works.  First, when the decision is made to initiate a divorce, there are certain requirements that need to be met.  For example, there are residency requirements in Texas.  Either spouse must live in the state for at least six months before filing.  Also, either spouse must have lived in the county where the suit is filed for the past 90 days.

After meeting with an attorney and discussing the divorce, that attorney will file an Original Petition for Divorce with the District Clerk of your county.  The spouse who initiates the divorce proceedings is called the petitioner and the other spouse is called the respondent.  The petition will list the grounds for divorce, children from the marriage, any protective orders existing against either spouse as well as a list of separate property not to be considered in the division of marital property.

The petition initiates the divorce proceedings in court, but does not notify the other spouse.  That is accomplished by a citation that is issued at the time the petition is filed.  A citation includes the case number, information about the court, addresses and names of the petitioner and respondent and the date when the citation was issued.   It also sets a deadline for the respondent to answer the lawsuit without a judgment being made by the court.

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regretsThroughout life, people make mistakes. Occasionally, these mistakes are small and forgotten as soon as they are committed. Other mistakes have long lasting effects and are difficult to move past. Divorce can occasionally cause regrets but it is important to learn from mistakes and try not to make them again.

According to data compiled by Dr. Terri Orbuch, most divorced people cite common regrets from their relationships. The longitudinal study followed over 350 couples who were between 25 and 37 years old. Over 25 years, 46 percent of the couples divorced, and of those Orbuch asked them about the errors they made in their relationships. Mistakes that they realized were contributing factors to their divorce. Dr. Orbuch hoped to use her research as a teaching tool to help others in their marriages.

Fifteen percent of the divorcees responded that they should have given their spouses more positive attention. A kiss, a compliment and other kinds of affection can increase a spouse's mood and strengthen a marriage. Not letting your spouse know that you support them emotionally can have far reaching consequences. Once the feeling of love is gone, then the relationship might be next.

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Illinois Divorce AttorneyThe first holidays following a divorce can be a very difficult time for everyone. Families are forced to deal with visitation schedules, vacation, gift-giving and other issues that they have never had to deal with before. If this is your first holiday season following a divorce, there are several things you should consider doing to make your holidays flow more smoothly.

Create a Holiday Schedule

If you did not create a holiday schedule in your divorce settlement or custody agreement, make one ahead of time. Discuss plans with your ex-spouse calmly and reasonably, and be willing to give a bit. Remember, it should be about making your children happy, and try to resolve things as easily as possible.

Once you've worked out the holiday visitation schedule with your co-parent, create an easily readable version and post it for your children to see. This will help them be prepared for anything out of the ordinary.

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Posted on in Divorce

Unemployment Effect on Divorce RateThere are many factors that contribute to divorce, and more and more studies are being released as of late that point to non-traditional reasons for marital dissolution. One such study, as reported by the Huffington Post, examines martial satisfaction and employment status. "The examination found that when men are not employed, it heightens the possibility of either the man or woman leaving the marriage." The study did not report similar findings if it was the wife that was unemployed or laid off instead of the husband. With effects of the Great Recession still rippling through American society, this study would indicate that many marriages have come to an end because of unemployment or job loss.

The unemployment rate, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is dramatically higher today than it was a decade ago. In January 2003, for example, the unemployment rate was 5.8, a typical number for months that year. In 2013, on the other hand, the unemployment rate was 7.9. This was down from the height of the Great Recession, when the January 2010 unemployment rate clocked in at 9.8, nearly a ten-year high (the unemployment rate was the highest its been this decade in March and April of 2010, at 9.9 percent). According to the Census Bureau, however, the divorce rate actually declined from 1990 to 2009; from 4.7 per 1,000 people to 3.4. This was the most recent year for which this data was available.

Whether or not this data matches the study, researchers at the Ohio State University, led by Liana Sayer, found conclusively that employment status DID affect divorce rates. It may not, however, be directly dependent on employment status, but the effects of unemployment. "If marital dissatisfaction is great," reports the Huffington Post, "the loss of a job is just another reason to end the relationship." There are also emotional or societal effects of unemployment and divorce, such as "heightened negative emotions [and] broken societal expectations."

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