Gambling Addiction and Divorce: Divorcing a Gambler

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Gambling Addiction and Divorce: Divorcing a Gambler

Playing cards, poker chips and dice on a phoneWhat is a compulsive gambler?

Compulsive gambling has been characterized as a progressive behavior disorder, where a person has an uncontrollable fixation and urge to gamble, as well as an emotional dependence on gambling and a complete loss of control. Someone with a gambling disorder is known as a compulsive gambler.

Warning signs of compulsive gambling

  1. Gambling for longer period of time than intended
  2. Gambling to cover losses
  3. Gambling more money that you can afford
  4. Poor job performance
  5. Lying to cover up gambling

What is the impact of gambling on finances? 

In New Jersey, generally marital assets are equitably distributed and marital debts are treated in the same way. In many circumstances, equitable means equal, but that is not always the case. If one person is gambling the joint assets of the parties, the court has the discretion to make a determination as to whether that person should be solely responsible for the gambling debt.

Is gambling a reason for divorce in the state of New Jersey? 

There are certain grounds that are the basis for filing for divorce. Compulsive gambling is not a specific basis. However, if a person is pursuing a fault based divorce, a person can set out to establish that a gambling addiction is the basis for the divorce.

Protecting yourself and your family from the consequences of gambling addiction

It is important to consult with a family law attorney so that you understand your rights and can protect yourself and your family from the consequences of a gambling addiction, as you go through the process of divorce.

Does gambling affect custody? 

In New Jersey, the best interests of the child is the standard that will be applied. Depending upon the circumstances, if  divorcing a gambler and the gambling addiction is severe enough, the court has the discretion to determine whether or not custody or parenting time should be modified or impacted in some way.

When divorcing a gambler, it is important to keep in mind that when you are negotiating a settlement you want the agreement to be comprehensive to address all of the issues that pertain to the gambling addiction and any issues that need to be resolved at the time of the divorce.

Are gambling addicts narcissists?

Some studies have reflected that people who suffer from gambling disorders, often have an inability to regulate their emotions and frequently have higher levels of narcissism in marriage than people who do not have gambling disorders.

What percent of gambling addicts recover?

Generally, the amount of gambling addicts that seek professional help is not significant and as a result, research and statistics on gambling disorders reflect that the recovery rate is not significant. The recovery organization, Gamblers Anonymous, has reported that 50 to 70% of its attendees experience sustained recovery.

What percent of gamblers get divorced?

Data reflects that the gambling addiction divorce rate for compulsive gamblers is significantly higher than the general population. According to the National Institute of Health, studies have found that pathologic gamblers have nearly a 53.5% lifetime divorce rate as compared to less than 18.2% for those who are not pathological gamblers.

Can a compulsive gambler be cured?

Yes, with the right treatment plan, support system and approach in place, a cure is possible. 

What should I do to protect myself and my kids?

Seek out not only legal support but non-lawyer professional support as well. Rely on a support group of friends, family, or organizations who can help you as you navigate this process.  Divorcing a gambler. gambling addiction, and divorce can be overwhelming and it is necessary to consult with experienced family law attorneys.

Want to consider separation or divorce?

Here at DeTorres and DeGeorge, New Jersey family law attorneys, we represent people in all phases of divorce. Contact us today to schedule a consultation if you need answers about the divorce process and how to divorce a gambler. We are here to help!

 

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