The Illinois Supreme Court has defined dissipation as the “use of marital property for the sole benefit of one of the spouses for a purpose unrelated to the marriage at a time that the marriage is undergoing a breakdown.” Gambling is an example of a dissipation.
Gambling can hinder marriage, finances, and family life. If you are in the process of divorcing a spouse with a gambling problem, you likely have many questions about how gambling affects divorce. Let’s take a closer look at how a spouse’s gambling addiction, as well as the behaviors that stem from it, play a role in divorce proceedings.
What Is Gambling?
Gambling is referred to as an impulse-control disorder. In most cases, gamblers continue to gamble despite the negative consequences it brings. Believe it or not, there are approximately 2.5 million Americans that are considered compulsive gamblers. Unfortunately, the popularity of the internet and social media has made it even easier to gamble.
This disorder can leave a family in debt and take away any financial security or peace of mind that they may have once had. It can also cause children to experience physical or emotional abandonment. In addition, gambling often leads to alcohol or drug abuse, adultery, and other serious issues.
Will Gambling Affect Divorce Decisions?
If your spouse is a gambler, their habits may play a vital role in child custody, visitation, and spousal support. Since child custody and visitation are based on the “best interests of the child,” if your spouse’s gambling leads to substance abuse, the court may not grant custody and/or visitation to your spouse.
Gambling issues can also impact your spousal support. A court will consider the services of the party seeking support, the education or career advancement of the other spouse, and any impairment of earning capacity. If your spouse’s gambling addiction required you to quit your job so that you could take care of your house or you were in a position where you supported your spouse’s career, you may be awarded spousal support.
Contact Our Experienced Naperville Divorce Lawyers
If your spouse’s gambling habits have convinced you to file for divorce, it is essential to reach out to our highly skilled Naperville divorce lawyers. We can explain how these gambling habits affect your particular divorce and ensure your rights are protected. For a free consultation, call us at 630-953-3000 today.