When your spouse suffers from addiction issues, you may decide that a divorce is imminent. Unfortunately, you may find that your spouse’s addiction has severely impacted your finances, making this a complex and challenging process. If your spouse is a gambling addict, understanding what impact this will have on your divorce is critical. Keep reading to discover more about these situations and how you can prepare for this process with the help of a Morris County divorce & separation law firm.
How Can Gambling Impact a Divorce?
When one spouse has an addiction, it can impact how a divorce works. In New Jersey, gambling is not listed as grounds for divorce. However, if your spouse’s addiction is particularly bad, it may constitute extreme cruelty which encompasses financial, emotional, or physical abuse. In some instances, someone who suffers from an addiction may exhibit these behaviors. Regardless, financial abuse is most commonly associated with gambling addiction.
Even if there is no abuse in your relationship, you can still file for divorce. New Jersey is a “no-fault” state, meaning you do not need to state a cause for your divorce. Instead, you can file on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.
If My Spouse is a Gambling Addict, Am I Responsible for Their Debt?
The most common concern for the ex-spouses of gambling addicts is whether or not they will be responsible for their spouse’s gambling debts. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, meaning the state will divide a couple’s marital property, including debts, based on how much they contributed to the marriage. As such, you’ll discover you likely will not be accountable for the portion of debt your spouse incurred, even if the debt is on a joint credit line. However, you may still be responsible for other debt on the line.
You should also know that if your spouse took funds from a joint account, you may be awarded a larger share of marital property to compensate you for the funds they took.
What Can I Do to Prepare for My Divorce?
If you plan on filing for divorce due to your spouse’s gambling addiction, understanding what you can do to prepare for this process is essential. The most important thing you should do is start compiling documentation of your spouse’s addiction and the subsequent financial issues it causes. You’ll want to gather credit card statements, bank account information, insurance policies, and paystubs. This will be necessary for your attorney as they will help determine what assets you are entitled to and what debt you are responsible for.
When you need assistance, Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn can help. Our dedicated legal team has the experience you need to make navigating these complex and emotional issues as smooth as possible. We will handle the legal complexities of these issues so you can focus on healing from these challenging times. Contact us today to learn how we can help you