DEAR ABBY: Many wives write you about problems with their husbands who drink too much. If they live in a community property state, there's something important they need to know. If the husband drives drunk and causes an injury, both the wife and husband may be named as co-defendants -- even if the wife wasn't involved. And if the injured party is successful in the lawsuit, the co-defendants together must pay.
Wives who tolerate their husband's refusal to stop drinking need to be aware of the economic hammer the law could have hanging over them. I just went through this experience. Had I known the law in our community property state would lump me in, I would have had a powerful reason to divorce my husband years ago after I realized he would never give up drinking. -- GETTING THE WORD OUT IN PHOENIX
DEAR GETTING: Thank you for teaching me and my readers something. If someone has a spouse of either sex with an alcohol problem who gets behind the wheel of a car, for their own protection, they should consult their lawyer and their insurance agent about what the ramifications could lead to.