How Will My Spouse’s Gambling Debts Affect the Divorce?
Gambling is often a leading reason why a couple chooses to end their marriage. Even when it isn’t the driving factor of the divorce, it isn’t fair for one spouse to be stuck paying off their former spouse’s gambling debts. Even then, unfortunately, that’s one of the many possible outcomes of a divorce.
If you’re hoping for a fair division of marital property during a divorce, it’s important to work with an experienced divorce lawyer. They can help you fight to ensure you’re not left paying for deficits you didn’t incur.
How Gambling Debt Affects Shared Debt
In most states, both the assets and debt a couple garners during their marriage are considered marital property. Typically, shared debt is split equally among the divorcing spouses, but courts understand that gambling often turns into a financially destructive form of addiction.
It’s possible, therefore, to have a spouse’s gambling debt assigned to them alone during the divorce process. The other spouse will still be assigned half of any other marital debt, but the gambling debts won’t be included in that calculation.
How Gambling Debt Impacts Property Division
If you can prove that your spouse’s gambling habit took a toll on your household assets, a divorce lawyer can fight to have the marital property divided in a way that takes into account the extent to which assets were lost due to gambling.
If one spouse spent significant amounts of money gambling, the other spouse might be awarded a greater amount of bank account holdings or a larger percentage of other shared assets.
How a Divorce Lawyer Helps You Avoid Gambling Debt
Gambling debt is not automatically assigned to the responsible spouse during a divorce. If you want to avoid being stuck with debt accrued through your spouse’s gambling habits, you need an experienced divorce attorney to help you achieve that outcome. In some cases, spouses can come to a divorce agreement through mediation. In such a case, your spouse must agree to assume all gambling-related debt.
Even when your divorce is amicable, it’s still important to have a divorce lawyer protecting your best interests, and if your spouse doesn’t agree to take responsibility for their gambling debt, you’ll probably go to court.
At that point, you definitely need a lawyer representing you, as they can argue that gambling debt constitutes a mismanagement of marital property. With the right argument, you might walk away both free from gambling debt and with a greater portion of the marital property to make up for the assets lost by gambling.
Don’t Get Stuck With Your Spouse’s Gambling Debt
Plenty hangs in the balance of a divorce settlement, and it’s a mistake to hope for the best when you’re heading into one. Unless you want to spend years paying the price for your ex-spouse’s gambling habit, you should call a divorce lawyer and let them get to work building an argument as soon as you know you’re going to split up.
Gucciardo Family Law is a family law firm located in Bingham Farms, MI. We handle cases in the greater Detroit metro area and across Oakland County. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help with your divorce.
Too much information?
We focus exclusively on family law matters so we are always available to answer your questions and help.