Alcoholic spouse


A court is not allowed to consider marital fault when deciding property distribution, so most likely would not consider the alcohol abuse in the property division. If he threatens her with physical harm, she can ask a court to evict him from the house under NCGS 50B.

Lisa M. Angel
Board Certified Family Law Specialist
The Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, NC 27607
(919) 781-1741 direct voice
(919) 256-1660 direct fax
(919) 787-6668 main voice
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The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


I am posting on behalf of my best friend. Her husband is an alcoholic, who gets destructive when he is drunk. He hasn’t touched her, but he is verbally and emotionally abusive to her and has destroyed physical objects. She has had him committed twice but they never keep him, and he won’t stay in the outpatient programs - the most recent time, he stayed sober all of 3 weeks. Needless to say, she desperately wants out! But, they live in the house that she grew up in, and both of their names are on the house. She refuses to sell the house because it would break her daddy’s heart - and of course he wants half the house if they divorce. She will gladly give him money, but she can’t get a loan big enough to cover half the value of the house. My basic question is, is she screwed? Is there any way a court would take the alcoholism/verbal abuse into account and not give him half the house? A few other things that might be relevant: there are no kids involved; she makes considerably more money than he does (though she doesn’t make a lot - less than $25k/year) and for the last 3 years he hasn’t even worked consistently so she’s been paying the vast majority of the bills including the house payment (and they barely get by) - he is currently employed but she doesn’t see much of the money he makes; he is co-owner of his mother’s house though it is worth far less than the marital house. They each have a vehicle; there is little in the way of savings or retirement that I’m aware of. This is their second marriage to each other - the first one ended because of his alcoholism (then he straightened out, and she took him back and they got remarried, and he promptly went back to his old ways). This is in Rowan County, if that makes any difference.

Thanks for any help or advice!