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How Can Gambling Debts Affect a Divorce for Spouses Over the Age of 50?

 Posted on August 05, 2021 in Divorce

St. Charles gray divorce attorneyIn many cases, divorce for those who are 50 or older can lead to financial difficulties. When a couple has been together for many years or multiple decades, shifting to living separately can be a huge adjustment. While it can be difficult enough for a spouse to cover their expenses on a single income, some issues, such as gambling debts, can lead to additional financial problems. In these situations, a spouse will need to understand the role that gambling debts incurred by their former partner will play in their divorce.

Gambling Debts and Asset Dissipation

Typically, debts incurred by married spouses are considered to be marital debts, and the spouses will be jointly responsible for repaying the amounts owed. However, gambling debts may be approached differently, especially if one spouse acted without the other spouse’s knowledge when incurring these debts. In these cases, the use of marital funds for gambling purposes may be considered asset dissipation.

Asset dissipation involves the use of marital property for the sole benefit of one spouse and for purposes unrelated to the couple’s marriage. This dissipation must occur while the marriage is undergoing an “irretrievable breakdown.” Gambling will often fall into this category, since a person who has a gambling addiction will often act without their spouse’s knowledge, and their actions will involve the use of marital funds for non-marital purposes. By showing that marital funds were used improperly, the other spouse will be able to ensure that this issue will be addressed correctly during the divorce process.

If a person can show that their former partner committed asset dissipation, the spouse who created the gambling debts will most likely be solely responsible for repaying those debts. In addition, the other spouse may be allocated a larger percentage of the marital estate during the property division process to make up for the use of marital assets for non-marital purposes. However, a spouse will need to show that the asset dissipation occurred after the date that the marriage began to experience an irretrievable breakdown. A claim for asset dissipation cannot be made more than three years after the non-dissipating spouse first knew or should have known about the dissipation, and the dissipation must have occurred no earlier than five years before either spouse filed a petition for divorce.

Contact Our Kane County Asset Division Lawyers

Gambling and other forms of asset dissipation can play a major role when determining how to divide marital property fairly and equitably between divorcing spouses. At Goostree Law Group, we can help you understand your rights, and we will advocate for your financial interests throughout the divorce process, working to ensure that you will have the resources you need to support yourself once your divorce is complete. Contact our Geneva gray divorce attorneys at 630-634-5050 to set up a free consultation today.





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