What Do I Need to Know About Divorcing a Gambling Addict?

cards, chips, and die

Most divorces are difficult, but it can be especially difficult to divorce a spouse who has a gambling addiction. Your marital assets could be compromised, and you may even have to worry about your own credit if your spouse has secretly opened up credit lines in your name. This can be a stressful time, but if your spouse will not get help divorce may be the only way to protect yourself and your children. Our Bergen County divorce attorneys are ready to assist you.

Is a Gambling Addiction Grounds for Divorce?

If you want to pursue a fault-based divorce, your spouse’s gambling addiction could technically be grounds for divorce. Such an addiction is not specifically mentioned if you ask about grounds for divorce, but it could be considered extreme cruelty. A spouse that focuses more on gambling can often commit emotional, financial, and even physical abuse. They can be unpredictable and it can feel unsafe to live with them. Their addiction is a perfectly valid reason to ask for a fault-based divorce, if that is the route you want to go.

What Are Some Signs of Gambling Addiction?

There are usually some indicators that your spouse is suffering from a gambling addiction. Some signs to look out for include:

  • A preoccupation with gambling to the exclusion of other interests or activities
  • Personality changes and increased irritability
  • The use of gambling as a coping mechanism
  • Gambling to win back lost money
  • Your spouse steals or lies about money

If your spouse has a gambling addiction, it is only a matter of time before it affects you and your family.

How Does My Spouse’s Gambling Affect Property Distribution?

Your spouse’s gambling can also affect how property is distributed in your divorce. The court tries to give couples an equitable split of marital assets. If one spouse has gone around wasting marital assets, through excessive gambling for example, that is going to be looked down upon. You are likely to get a higher share of the remaining assets, and you should not be held responsible for your spouse’s gambling debts,

What Steps Should I Take Before Filing For Divorce?

When you are getting ready to divorce a compulsive gambler, you need to take a few steps to protect yourself. We recommend:

Gathering any financial documents: It is more important than ever for you to know the state of your family’s finances. Check bank accounts and joint credit cards for suspicious activity.

Order a credit report: Your spouse may have opened a credit card or taken out a loan in your name. Get your credit report and look for any anomalies. You do not want your credit history to be a problem after your divorce.

Contact Our Law Firm

If you are ready to pursue a divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark. We can schedule a consultation and tell you more about how we can assist you with this process. Learn more about what our lawyers can do for you today.

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