Gambling: Disability or Income Stream and What it Means in a Divorce (As Seen On The Real Housewives Of Atlanta)

Gambling can be a disability or an income stream, depending on the individual. For some people, gambling can become an addiction that leads to financial ruin and social isolation. For others, gambling can be a way to make money or supplement their income. Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kim Zolciak has been accused in recent court documents that her gambling addiction has caused their family financial ruin. If you consider whether gambling has played a role in the breakdown of your marriage, consulting with a knowledgeable New Jersey divorce attorney is crucial for asset distribution.

Gambling and Divorce

It’s no secret that a gambling disorder can be an addictive behavior that can lead to serious financial and emotional problems. For these reasons, gambling can sometimes be a major factor in divorce. Studies have shown that the divorce rate for couples where one spouse has a gambling problem is twice as high as the divorce rate for couples without gambling problems. In the U.S., 1 in 20 adults will have some type of difficulty with gambling in their lives. These statistics highlight the prevalence of gambling addiction and the detrimental effect it can have on a marriage.

Reasons Why Gambling Leads to Divorce

Gambling addiction can strain a marriage in various ways, leading to marital discord and divorce. Some of the reasons why gambling often leads to divorce include:

  1. Financial strain. Gambling addiction often leads to financial ruin. The individual with the addiction may spend exorbitant amounts of money on gambling, neglecting their financial responsibilities and accumulating substantial debts. This financial strain can create immense stress and conflict within a marriage, eroding trust and stability.
  1. Emotional and psychological impact. Gambling addiction is often accompanied by emotional and psychological distress. The spouse with an addiction may experience mood swings, anxiety, depression, and shame or guilt. These emotional struggles can strain the relationship, making it difficult for spouses to communicate and address the issue constructively.
  1. Neglect and isolation. Gambling addiction can consume a significant amount of time and attention, sometimes to the point of obsession. This can lead to neglect of family, friends, and marital responsibilities. The addicted spouse may become increasingly isolated, prioritizing gambling over the needs and well-being of their partner. This neglect can cause feelings of abandonment and resentment, ultimately driving a wedge between spouses.

What This Means for Property & Equitable Distribution in a Divorce

The stakes can be high when it comes to property and equitable Distribution in a divorce involving gambling issues. In New Jersey, the court follows the principle of equitable Distribution, which means that marital property is divided fairly but not necessarily equally. However, if one spouse has a gambling addiction that has caused significant financial losses, it may impact the division of assets.

If it can be proven that the gambling addiction led to financial ruin, the court may consider this in determining the equitable Distribution of marital property. The non-addicted spouse may be entitled to a larger portion of the assets to compensate for the losses incurred due to the addiction. For more information on the distinction between equitable and equal Distribution, refer to our previous blog post here.

How to Prove a Gambling Addiction’s Effect on Your Marriage

Proving a gambling problem as a contributing factor in a divorce case requires gathering substantial evidence to demonstrate its impact on the marriage and finances. It is essential to take proactive steps to support claims of gambling-related financial ruin and marital problems, including:

  1. Documenting financial losses. Gathering financial records, bank statements, credit card statements, and other relevant documents showing the extent of the gambling losses can be invaluable to your case. This evidence will help establish the financial impact of the addiction on the marriage.
  1. Collecting witness testimonies. Obtaining statements from individuals who have witnessed the impact of gambling addiction on marriage can strengthen your claim. This can include family members, friends, or colleagues who can provide firsthand accounts of the addicted spouse’s behavior and its effect on the relationship.
  1. Providing evidence of your objections. It’s often necessary for spouses of addicted gamblers to prove that they objected to, or did not condone, their partner’s gambling habits. It is wise to save any discussions regarding the gambling addiction, including emails, text messages, or voicemails where you expressed your concern and disapproval of your spouse’s gambling habits.

How a New Jersey Divorce Attorney Can Help

Navigating a divorce involving gambling can be complex and emotionally challenging. Engaging the services of a reputable New Jersey divorce attorney can provide valuable guidance and support. A skilled divorce attorney will:

  1. Listen to and assess your case
  2. Gather crucial evidence
  3. Build an airtight divorce case
  4. Negotiate and advocate on your behalf
  5. Win you the compensation you deserve

Contact the Experienced Divorce Attorneys at Zeigler Law Group, LLC

If you are facing a divorce where gambling has been a significant factor, seeking professional legal assistance is crucial to protect your rights. Zeigler Law Group, LLC has extensive experience handling gambling divorce cases and can help you take the first step toward a better future. As dedicated family lawyers, we aim to guide our clients to the right path toward emotional and financial resolution. Call our office at 732-361-4827 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation with our award-winning legal team. We help clients throughout New Jersey.

Contact Zeigler Law Group, LLC
Today To Get Started

Sonya K, Zeigler, Esq. and her team have a well-earned reputation for committed and fierce legal representation. Our firm is here to provide you with the best possible guidance. Call Zeigler Law Group, LLC, at 732-361-4827 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Tom’s River, Red Bank, Princeton, and Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.

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