Habitual Drunkenness means the fixed habit of frequently getting drunk, but does not necessarily imply continual drunkenness.

One need not be an alcoholic to be guilty of habitual drunkenness. It is sufficient if the use or abuse of alcohol causes a breakdown of normal marital relations.

Habitual drunkenness may include the abuse of alcohol, as well as prescribed or illegal medication or drugs.


To prove habitual drunkenness, there must be showing that the abuse of alcohol (or drugs) caused the breakdown of the marriage and that such abuse existed at or near the time of filing for divorce.


Condonation is a defense to a claim of habitual drunkenness. Condonation means forgiveness express or implied, by one spouse for a breach of marital duty by the other. Condonation is the forgiveness of the antecedent matrimonial offense on the condition that the marital offense shall not be repeated and that the offender treat the forgiving party with conjugal kindness. Condonation may be nullified by subsequent acts of habitual drunkenness, which revive the formerly acts of habitual drunkenness. Reconciliation (resumption of marital cohabitation) is another form of condonation and it is a defense to the charge of habitual drunkenness.

Recrimination is a defense to a charge of habitual drunkenness. Recrimination may arise from any conduct that has not been condoned which would be independently be sufficient as a ground for divorce itself, such as adultery, physical cruelty, habitual drunkenness, or desertion by the other spouse. In other words, if both spouses have committed acts sufficient to give rise to an action for divorce, neither spouse is entitled to a divorce on fault grounds.

Connivance is a defense to a charge of habitual drunkenness. Connivance means that a spouse participated in or encouraged the other spouse to be habitually drunk.

Collusion, like connivance, is also a defense to a charge of habitual drunkenness. That means the parties agreed that one spouse would be habitually drunk in order to facilitate the Court granting a divorce.