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Am I Liable for My Spouse’s Gambling Losses?

 Posted on February 23, 2024 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerIf your spouse has wracked up significant gambling debt or lost a lot of money during your marriage, there is a fairly good chance that your spouse has a gambling problem. There is also a fairly good chance that their gambling addiction is the reason you are getting divorced. Being married to someone who spends too much time in casinos or on online gambling platforms can be extremely difficult, both emotionally and financially. If money keeps going missing, or your spouse’s paychecks are not making it into your joint bank account at all, you probably know why. The good news is that unless you were an active participant in your spouse’s gambling, you are probably not responsible for their gambling debt, and you may even be entitled to recover some of the funds your spouse lost. Your Naperville, IL, divorce attorney can help you determine whether your spouse’s gambling losses amount to wrongful dissipation of marital assets.

Dissipation of Marital Assets and Gambling Losses or Debts

When one spouse spends money foolishly and wastefully without the other spouse’s consent and in a way that does not benefit their spouse, this is called “dissipation of marital assets.” Gambling is a common way of dissipating marital assets. If your spouse took marital money, such as income earned by either of you and lost it in a poker game or betting on sports, they probably dissipated those assets.

If your spouse dissipated marital assets by gambling, you might be entitled to recover some of the dissipated funds during your divorce. For example, if your spouse lost a total of $20,000 gambling over your objections or without your knowledge, you might be entitled to keep your fair share of that $20,000 in addition to your usual equitable share of the marital assets. This may mean you can keep extra money contained in a savings account or other assets to make up for your spouse’s foolish spending.

When a Gambling Loss is Not Dissipation

Dissipation of marital assets only refers to a situation where one spouse does not have the other’s approval as they are wasting marital resources. If you did not know about or objected to your spouse’s gambling, they likely engaged in dissipation. However, if you were sitting next to your spouse at the casino rooting for them or helping them decide which football team to bet on, you would likely be considered an active participant in their losses and held liable for any resultant debts or losses.

Contact a DuPage County, IL, Divorce Lawyer 

Calabrese Associates, P.C. has experience representing those whose spouses have dissipated marital funds by gambling. Our aggressive Naperville, IL, divorce attorneys will work to help you recover any assets your spouse has dissipated. Contact us at 630-393-3111 to begin with a confidential consultation.

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