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Life of the party + teetotaler = California divorce

Within a California marriage, there are a number of issues that can lead to strife and turmoil. In some cases, the stress levels and incompatibilities rise to the point where one or both spouses decide to end the marriage. One recently released study looked into the risk factors of divorce, and found that there is one area that can provide a strong prediction of a couple's chances of a long and happy marriage.

The study examined data from nearly 20,000 couples, compiled over a period of 15 years. What researchers found was that in households in which spouses share the same drinking habits, divorce rates were low. However, when a husband and wife consume alcohol at very different rates, the odds of divorce increase significantly.

In particular, divorce rates were highest when a wife outpaced her husband in terms of drinking. This could be due to social factors that make it less acceptable for a woman to consume heavy volumes of alcohol, since heavy drinking is believed to interfere with family obligations. However, the rates of divorce were high among all couples with disparate drinking patterns, regardless of which spouse drank more than the other.

Overall, the study suggests that the lowest rates of divorce were found among couples where neither partner drank heavily, followed by couples who share the same drinking patterns. For California couples who struggle with issues surrounding alcohol consumption, this news is likely no surprise. However, when drinking leads to divorce, a spouse's heavy or unhealthy alcohol consumption could play a role in child custody determinations. Spouses who feel that their former partner could pose a danger to the safety and well being of their children should determine the best course of legal action to secure full custody.

Source: New York Daily News, "Drinking differences linked to divorce: study," Michael Walsh, Feb. 9, 2013

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