How Will My Spouse’s Gambling Addiction Impact our Divorce?

person at table playing poker

When your spouse has an addiction, it can put a considerable amount of strain on your marriage. As such, many couples end up undergoing a divorce when one suffers from addiction. If your spouse has a gambling addiction and you are considering filing but don’t know what the process will look like, you’ll want to keep reading. The following blog explores what you must know about these instances and how a Los Angeles divorce attorney can assist you.

Is a Gambling Addiction Grounds for Divorce in California?

When you file for divorce, generally, you must put a reason. Decades ago, to obtain a divorce, you must have had a recognized reason, such as infidelity or abandonment. However, California, along with the majority of states, understands that some couples may no longer be compatible. As such, you are eligible to file for a “no-fault” divorce.

If you did want to cite your spouse’s gambling addiction as the cause of the dissolution of your marriage, you would be unable to in California. This is because the Golden State does not recognize fault-based divorces. However, this does not mean your spouse will not suffer any consequences for their actions, especially if they have caused significant financial issues.

Will This Have Any Impact on Our Divorce?

If your spouse is a gambling addict and used marital funds to satiate their addiction, you may receive a more favorable outcome in your divorce.

California is a community property state, meaning each spouse is entitled to an even fifty-fifty split of shared assets. However, if your spouse took funds from a joint bank account to spend on gambling, you may receive more assets during the property distribution to make up for what they took.

One concern the spouses of addicts have concerns debt.  Unfortunately, gambling addicts will often use shared lines of credit to fund their addiction. Because the state considers debt marital property, you may worry that you could end up paying half of your spouse’s debt. However, when one spouse misappropriated funds for their own use, the state will not hold the spouse liable for that debt. For example, if there is $30,000 of debt on the credit line, and $28,000 is caused by your spouse, you will not be responsible for half. Instead, you would have liability for half of the debts you benefited from.

At the Zitser Family Law Group, we understand how devastating addiction can be for spouses and their families. As such, we will handle your case with the utmost care so you can focus on healing and transitioning into the next chapter of your life. Our team will do everything possible to help you recover any funds lost from your spouse’s addition. Contact us today to learn how our firm will fight for you.

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