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How Can My Spouse’s Gambling Addiction Affect My Divorce?

 Posted on April 30, 2024 in Divorce

Arlington Heights, IL divorce lawyerGetting divorced opens up your personal life to legal scrutiny. Behaviors that you may previously have been able to keep under wraps can now have serious legal consequences.

An example of this is gambling. If your spouse has a gambling addiction and it surfaces during the divorce proceedings, it can have a major effect on the outcomes of the divorce. Seek the counsel of an experienced attorney in Illinois if you are getting divorced and think your spouse might have a gambling addiction.

This article will discuss how a gambling addiction can affect a divorce.

Assets Can Be Frozen

You and your spouse are both entitled to what Illinois law calls marital property. This refers to assets that belong to both spouses, usually acquired during the marriage. Using any of these assets for something that is not related to the marriage, or abusing them so that their value goes down, is called dissipation of assets.

If your spouse uses joint funds for gambling, for example, you can file a dissipation of assets claim with the court. The court can then freeze those assets so they cannot be accessed by you or your spouse.

When it comes time for the marital assets to be divided between you, the judge may award the lion’s share to you because of your spouse’s gambling addiction.

Additionally, your spouse may be ordered to reimburse you if the court finds that he or she abused marital assets.

Child Custody Can Be Affected

Whenever there is a dispute over child custody, a court will want to know what is in the child’s best interest. This means that a judge will look closely at various factors, including:

  • The wishes of the child

  • The child’s developmental and educational needs

  • The incomes and financial situations of both parents

  • Any reports of abuse or neglect

  • Any reports of addiction

If your spouse has a gambling addiction, a judge is likely to consider that as being against the child’s interests. His or her custody, therefore, may be restricted.

Family Maintenance

Your spouse may be ordered to pay family maintenance, which includes both alimony and child support. A judge will order this based on many factors, such as:

  • The income of both spouses

  • The present and future earning potential of each spouse

  • The needs of the child

  • The mental health of all parties

A gambling addiction is considered a chronic mental health condition. A judge may take this into account in the family maintenance order and lower the amount your spouse must pay. 

Contact an Arlington Heights, IL Divorce Lawyer

A gambling addiction is a serious disorder that affects both marriages and divorces. If you or your spouse has a gambling addiction, reach out to an Arlington Heights, Illinois divorce attorney to find out how it will affect your particular situation. The attorneys at A. Traub & Associates are highly experienced in addressing addiction and other psychological issues in divorce. Call 847-749-4182 for a consultation today.

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