Most California couples recognize that relationships have their ups and downs and not every issue leads to divorce. Marriages that inflict abuse and deep unhappiness, however, might be irreparable. The safety of children especially demands action as does a spouse’s ongoing destructive behavior, like drinking.

Parents in unhappy unions also should consider the example that they are setting for their children. A person who believes that the unpleasant home life inflicts unacceptable stress on a family should consider divorce. Warning signs like emotional and verbal abuse that escalate to include threats of physical assault should not be ignored. One woman who had been excusing her husband’s angry outbursts because of his stress finally pursued a divorce after he said he would attack her child.

Drinking and drug addiction also drive away devoted spouses. In one divorce case, a man had stood by his wife through two arrests for drunk driving. After each incident, he convinced her to join treatment programs, but she stopped going after short amounts of time and started drinking again. She eventually lost her license after a third drunk driving arrest, and the husband realized that he could not live with an addict unwilling to reform.

The decision to divorce is never easy for anyone, but a person who wants to pursue a new future outside of a relationship could talk to an attorney. Information from an attorney could allow the person to understand the steps toward release from a marriage. An attorney could advocate for the client during negotiations about property division and child custody.