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Help! I Am Divorcing a Spouse Addicted to Gambling

Posted on in Complex Divorce

austin divorce lawyerIrresponsible gambling has destroyed the lives of many Texans, but the consequences of this behavior are, unfortunately, not restricted to the gamblers alone. A gambling addiction can take a serious toll on the relationship and finances of a couple, so much so that divorce is ultimately the only option. 

Gambling, and the secretive and wasteful behaviors associated with it, complicate divorces in Texas. If you plan to divorce a spouse with a gambling problem, it is important to protect your finances and gather evidence to support your case in court. 

What is Dissipation of Assets? 

Dissipation of assets occurs when one spouse wastes, profligately spends, or otherwise abuses a couple's shared marital assets. Dissipative behavior can be done out of spite or to hide assets for later use, but dissipation can also occur when money is recklessly spent for purposes unrelated to the marriage. Some examples of dissipative behavior include: 

  • Spending money on a new partner, including gifts, dinners, and vacations

  • Spending money on gambling or drugs and alcohol 

  • Careless and excessive spending, including taking out massive credit card debt 

  • Transferring money away from the spouse to other people to hide it during the asset division process

Will I Have to Help Pay For My Spouse’s Gambling Debt? 

Generally, assets and debts accumulated during a marriage are divided 50/50 between spouses. But if one spouse has wasted money on gambling, this could affect the asset and debt division process. Many gamblers will do almost anything to hide the money they have lost, or the debt they have accumulated, through gambling, so it is important to comb through your finances before you file for divorce. 

Check your credit reports, your spouse’s credit reports, and the balances of all your checking, savings, and credit card accounts. There are services that provide free access to credit reports without harming your credit, and you can ask your bank for statements going back for years. The more evidence you can gather of money that was spent without your knowledge, the easier it will be to make a case that you are entitled to a greater share of your marital assets. 

With enough strong evidence, Texas courts can overcome the presumption that marital property should be split 50/50 and award the spouse who is a victim of the dissipative behavior a greater share of the marital property and a lesser share of the debt. 

Speak with a Travis County, TX Divorce Attorney

If you fear your spouse’s gambling habits are going to waste your hard-earned money, you need the help of an experienced and fearless Austin, Texas divorce attorney with Powers and Kerr, PLLC. We have worked with people who need to protect their family and future from a spouse’s dissipative behaviors, and we will do the same for you. Call our office to schedule your initial consultation at 512-610-6199




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