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If you are in a divorce proceeding and one is suffering from Alchololism and drug abuse can what he says be held against him?

El Toro, CA |

Meaning if the person is volunteerly going into hospitals being treated and has said dumb things or threats through email texts under the influence how is that viewed. Since Alcohol is excepted as a disease can one be held accountable in a divorce proceeding.

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Attorney answers 5


The rules of evidence would allow the court to consider statements made by either party to each other in a family law action, even those made in text or email form. These would be considered an exception to the hearsay rule and can come into evidence as a statement of a party opponent or an admission. As long as you can prove or authenticate that your ex sent these statements, then YES, they can be used against him. However, only a seasoned family law litigator will be able to guide you through these rules and effectively represent you in court.



If the other party has medical proof from hospitals and phychiatrists and is being treated how can a court take anything being said serious. If the medical field has confirmed one who suffers from this disease can be considered legally insane.

Brett Ryan Wishart

Brett Ryan Wishart


Psychological issues and substance abuse issues of one party definitely impacts credibility or believability in court. But, medical records aren't automatically considered by the court. Depending on what "proof" you have, you will need to comply with the rules of evidence to even get the court to read it. You need legal counsel. It's not as easy at it may seem. You don't just say "he's an addict" or "he's medically insane","don't believe him." Obviously, there there's more to your story. Would love to talk about it.


Statements under the influence of disease -- and alcoholism is not always given the disease treatment by the law -- are not given a free pass from the laws or exempt from legal actions. Just one of many manifestations that alcoholism both is and isn't a "disease" in our culture.

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Yes, the statements made while drunk/intoxicated can be used against the person who said them. They probably will no be entirely excluded based upon the fact that the person was drunk or under the influence. The other party can try to mitigate how much weight the court attributes to those statements by explaining he/she was drunk, but in most cases that argument will probably not be successful. My colleague Mr. Wishart brings up many good points about what it will take to get this sort of evidence admitted and he is correct that you will need a seasoned family law litigator to assist you with this.

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyze this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.


They may not believe the threats are real, but then again, if you are out of control due to substance abuse and make threats, there is a possibility that when out of control you might carry them out. Even if characterized as drunk ramblings, the fact that you have such health issues can affect the court's decision on issues, especially custody/visitation.


It will definitely become an issue on custody and visitation if you have minor children

Any answer to questions is not meant to be con screwed as legal advise and no attorney client relationship has formed. In order for an attorney to give legal advise, The attorney would need to have an opportunity to ask specific questions from a full and complete disclosure of the underlying facts involved in the question asked.

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