Seeking divorce is never an easy decision, but when financial misconduct is present, it may be a partner’s only option. When one spouse gambles away a family’s assets, divorce may seem like the only escape. Here is everything you need to know about gambling and divorce, and how a gambling addiction can affect property division.
Gambling Debts and Divorce
In a divorce, all property is typically divided by the court between the two parties if no prior agreement exists. This division of property and assets also usually applies to any debts the married couple might have. If, however, the debts or financial losses are the responsibility of only one party, the court may differ in the way it divides assets and liabilities.
Gambling is one such instance where the court may handle property division differently. A family law court judge will allow the airing of any complaints a party may have about the wasting of marital assets through activities such as gambling. The judge may then decide to alter the division of assets to award the wronged party a more substantial stake in the shared assets. This practice means that while the wrongdoer (the gambler) does not face direct punishment, they may suffer a reprimand through a reduced share of shared assets
In the United States, the handling of property division in divorce is based on either “community property” or “equitable distribution” principles, with New York being the latter. In “equitable distribution” states, judges may punish a spouse severely for gambling issues, or they may not punish them at all, depending on the particulars of the situation. Judges will likely consider all aspects of the gambling complaint, including whether the other partner knew about the gambling losses, whether they complained, and how long the problem lasted.
How to Prove Objections to Gambling Losses
If a party seeks to show they did not condone a spouse’s gambling habit, they must prove this with credible documentation. Evidence which might help demonstrate opposition to the gambling may include text messages, emails, phone transcripts, or anything else which may be helpful, such as the testimony of an impartial witness. It is also essential that the party provides direct evidence of gambling as well. Examples of relevant evidence may include credit card or bank statements, receipts, betting slips, IOUs, or anything else which clearly illustrates the gambling problem.
Contact an Experienced New York Divorce Attorney Today
Because of the complexities of issues such as gambling debts and divorce, if you are considering a divorce where similar problems happen, you should speak with an experienced divorce attorney right away.
The attorneys at Brian D. Perskin and Associates are the most trusted name in divorce in New York. Brian and his dedicated team of divorce lawyers are as aggressive and strategic as they are compassionate. They work closely with you to provide the customized legal services you need and deserve. Call Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. today at (718) 875-7584 for your free consultation and learn why we’re New York’s premier divorce law firm.