What to Know About Divorcing a Gambling Addict
Divorce is never easy, but getting a divorce from a spouse who is suffering from a serious gambling addiction can come with some unique complications of its own. Before you divorce your spouse, you need to be properly prepared to look out for your own best interests and the interests of your children, if you have any. Our Chatham divorce attorneys can help you do that.
Is Excessive Gambling Grounds for Divorce?
The state of New Jersey does not specifically recognize a gambling addiction as grounds for a fault-based divorce. However, a spouse’s addiction can fall under “extreme cruelty.” People with gambling addictions often lash out at their partners. They could also commit financial and psychological abuse as a result of their own issues. So if you want a fault-based divorce, your partner’s addiction could be a consideration.
Do I Have to Pay My Spouse’s Gambling Debts?
When marital property is split up, most people realize that the assets are going to be divided. Maybe someone gets the house, someone gets the car, and the joint bank account gets split between you. However, you should remember that debts are also considered marital property. They get split up as well, and someone with a gambling addiction can build up an extreme amount of debt.
If you had no responsibility for this debt, you should not have to pay it. You and your lawyer can make the argument to the court. Let’s say you have a joint credit card. $10,000 in debt is for expenses that you and your family had. Another $30,000 is purely gambling debts. Your spouse should be solely responsible for those, and then they should also have to split that $10,000 debt with you.
How Should I Prepare for Divorcing a Spouse With a Gambling Addiction?
When you have decided to divorce someone with a gambling addiction, you have to prepare yourself. You should:
Gather any financial documents: Gather together everything relating to your family’s finances. Statements from bank accounts, retirement accounts, and credit cards are a good start. Property deeds, insurance policies, and copies of recent tax returns are also good to have.
Get your own credit report: Make sure that your spouse has not opened up lines of credit or taken out loans in your name. This could affect your credit and make life harder post-divorce.
Analyze how much your spouse has cost you: When you look over your family’s financials, try to figure out how much your spouse has cost you. Did they empty out any accounts? Did they take money from retirement accounts early, incurring additional tax penalties? Having a full picture here can help you in your divorce proceedings.
Contact Our Law Firm
If you are seriously considering divorce, you should meet with our legal team. Contact Lazor Rantas, PC today and schedule a consultation. We can tell you more about how we can help you and how you can protect yourself and your assets.