How Gambling Addiction Affects Divorce

How Gambling Addiction Affects DivorceWhen a relationship goes sour, it’s never a good time. No one enjoys growing distant from someone they once loved, and no one enjoys making the decision to end a marriage. So, of course, divorces are known to be stressful, emotionally taxing, and usually unpleasant – no matter the reason for the separation.

A common deal breaker in marriages – and something that can definitely complicate the process – is gambling addiction. The disease of addiction affects everyone in the vicinity, as the spouses of those afflicted seem to often find out. Unfortunately, when someone is in the actual situation with someone they know and loved, it can be hard to view it objectively and protect themselves to the fullest extent. Let’s look at exactly how a gambling addiction can complicate a divorce, and how your Knoxville divorce attorney can help.

How can a gambling addiction impact a marriage?

Dealing with addiction, whether substance or otherwise, whether their own or a loved one’s, is one of the hardest things a person can do. It ruins lives, even if someone doesn’t expect it to. When a spouse has a gambling addiction specifically, however, that downward spiral can and will take everything down with it — and that includes the other spouse.

There are two big ways someone’s gambling addiction can impact their spouse: mentally and financially. Studies have found that pathologic gamblers have a 53.5% lifetime divorce rate and it’s easy to see why. Those same studies found spouses of gamblers are likelier to experience domestic abuse, harassment from those the spouse may owe, and distress from their children — not to mention needing to pick up their spouse’s slack regarding any other responsibilities. So, yes, it can be a tad stressful.

If the marriage is ending, it’s easy to see how those issues can leak in. The spouse already known for being difficult is probably not going to cooperate when you want to sever your ties. Whether by being absent at important meetings, lying, harassing you, or pulling any other stunt, they are going to want to make the process as hard as possible.

This leads into the other major way a spouse’s gambling addiction can hurt you. Financial woes are among the most common reasons for divorce, and gambling? Well. Even if the root of the addiction isn’t about money, money (or lack thereof) is the primary effect of the addiction. And a gambling addict isn’t likely to prioritize a marriage over the money, even if they really love their spouse. The destructive nature of an addiction is the inability to regulate or self-discipline, which means that those addicted to something like gambling will take money from every source possible to use for it. That means your bank accounts, retirement funds, and even the college funds for your children are in danger.

In addition to that (as if it’s not tough enough), gambling addicts tend to lie and cover important details to protect themselves. This can mean hiding debts, assets, or any other number of funds-related materials couples definitely should not hide from each other. When it comes to a divorce, the division of funds and assets is a major part, and honesty from both parties is incredibly important. If that is not an option, go for transparency instead. Make sure you tell your divorce attorney about your ex’s issues with gambling so they can prepare for the possibility of any, well, nonsense from them.

Which Knoxville divorce attorney is right for me?

Every divorce has unique circumstances, and not all divorce attorneys are created equal. Separating couples – especially those with particularly contentious spouses in some way or another – have their own issues that need to be dealt with their own way, and you want to make sure the lawyer helping you start your new life actually knows how to make that happen.

If you are divorcing someone whose gambling addiction has done nothing but hurt you, you’re dealing with what’s called a high-conflict divorce. That means your situation is particularly volatile and needs a special amount of care and attention, especially regarding conflict resolution. Now, look, that doesn’t mean we’re going to try and make you two hold hands and sing Kumbaya, but it does mean we, as high-conflict divorce attorneys, work to minimize as much drama and conflict as possible. The right representation shouldn’t throw any fuel in your personal fires, and they certainly shouldn’t sit back and let anything escalate on their watch.

When attorneys learn how to deal with high-conflict cases, they learn from psychologists and counsellors to patiently help clients process and engage with their negative emotions, and then helping them move on from them. It’s not about biases or taking sides, and it’s not about continuing a painful war that is long overdue to end. It’s about helping those who need it in the best, most productive way possible. While every attorney may want to help, not every attorney knows how to in every situation. High-conflict divorces can be delicate, confusing, and painful things and whatever attorney you choose to represent you should know that.

Luckily, if you’re reading this, you’ve already come to the right place. The Knoxville high-conflict divorce attorneys at LaFevor & Slaughter have years of experience with the most difficult and uncooperative of should-be-exes. We know all you really want is for everything to be over, and we know how to prioritize your rights without creating further conflict. You deserve compassionate representation that actually cares about you and your unique situation and, more than anything else, you deserve to be free of whatever — and whoever — is holding you back. So, if you’re ready to get started, give us a call today at (865) 637-6258 or use our contact form. You have done more than enough of this fight alone.