A gambling addiction can create serious problems for a married couple. It is important to keep in mind that each person’s particular case, the circumstances of the gambling problem, and other factors tend to be different. As such, this is a general overview of some of the potential problems couples face when one person in the marriage has a problem with gambling.
In most healthy marriages, both people trust each other and not hide anything. This is not always the case in marriages where gambling has become an issue. One spouse might not mind if the other places the occasional bet at work, like with a football pool, or plays a few rounds of blackjack at a table every now and then.
However, when gambling becomes the priority for a person, they tend to start telling lies, especially if they are losing more than they are winning. You might notice your bank accounts have unusual withdrawals or see excessive charges on credits cards. You may start to receive collection notices in the mail for past due bills, or phone calls from strange people looking for your spouse.
Initially, your spouse could be rather good at hiding their gambling problem. However, eventually, their luck and money is going to run out. They will feel forced to start taking out loans, applying for new credit cards, or even borrowing from friends and relatives. You may find out there is a problem when you to pay for groceries or pay for gas when you are notified that your debit or credit cards are declined. In some cases, a concerned friend or relative reaches out to inform you your spouse owes them money and has not paid them back.
Once you find out there is a problem, you need to confront it. Your spouse could attempt to downplay the seriousness of the problem, or, worse, blame you for their problem. Regardless, you need to consider your future. Initially, you could try counseling to save the marriage, but this will only work if both you and your spouse are fully committed.
If your spouse is not committed to trying to salvage the marriage and seeking help for their gambling addiction, your next step should be to contact a Las Vegas divorce lawyer. The sooner you can initiate a legal separation, the better it will be for you in the end. Most courts and judges treat gambling debts as marital debts.
As such, even though you were not responsible for creating the debt, you could be responsible for half of your spouse is gambling liabilities. The reason many courts divide gambling debts is because they have to consider how the situation would be if the person had won a substantial amount of money.
For more information about the divorce process when gambling debts are involved, or other questions and concerns related to separation, divorce, child custody, support, and visitation, contact McFarling Law Group at (702) 565-4335 now.