Divorcing a Gambling Addict: All Bets are Off

Leslie Barrows
 | Published: 
August 29, 2022
 | Category: 

You Thought You Hit the Jackpot with Your Spouse Until They Became a Gambling Addict

Divorcing a gambling addict becomes necessary when you accept that addiction can take people over and without help and divorce, the family and children can suffer irreparable damage. Some people trade one addiction for the next throughout their lives. People who no longer drink because of addiction are often thrilled to meet new partners who are also sober. But does their sobriety mean they are free of addiction? Often the psychological roots of addiction manifest in other forms and behaviors like gambling. One may say it is no big deal that the other spends money on scratch-offs at the gas station instead of beer or wine, but things can change. The other spouse might not notice a creeping gambling problem leading to addiction because they are otherwise prone to spot the more common addiction, they had problems with like drugs or alcohol.

Help Guide: Gambling Addiction and Problem Gambling

Mayo Clinic: Compulsive Gambling Symptoms and Causes

Addiction is a problem leading to divorce in Texas, whether it involves substances or other activities like gambling. Money problems come with gambling addiction, leading to divorce in Texas as families struggling to keep up and get ahead seem to be stuck or slipping due to the actions, lies, and trauma associated with a gambling addict.

In Southlake, families trust Leslie Barrows and her team of family lawyers at the Barrows Firm who are experienced in working with clients whose families are torn apart by addiction. And when divorcing a gambling addict, it is important to protect yourself and protect the family.

Gambling and Money Problems Leading to Divorce in Texas

Money problems are one of the leading causes of divorce and gambling is one of the worst money problems. Gambling addicts are out of control and spend money on bets that their luck will turn around and they will get ahead in their gambling. Divorce in Texas over money problems usually involves conflict over one spouse being a saver, while the other spouse is a spender, or in this case, a gambler.

Coparenting while a married couple is difficult when mom is trying to pay the bills and feed the kids and dad seems content on blowing paychecks at Winstar, hoping to strike it rich. That scenario may also be the other way around, and there are women with gambling addictions as well as men. Also, family money problems do not have to involve casinos, when there are quick and easy lottery tickets at gas stations. Even when it’s $20 a piece on Powerball, that money can add up quickly and so can the resentment of the other spouse, scrambling to compensate in the budget.

How Gambling Addiction Affects Divorce

Gambling addictions affect divorce in similar ways that addiction to anything interrupts the normal functioning of communication and relationships among people and families. We frequently hear about the perils of alcohol and drug addiction and love to talk about those problems, but for some reason, gambling addiction gets the back burner. The codependency issues consistent with other forms of addiction are a conflict source in families where someone is a gambling spouse. How does one protect themselves from a gambling spouse? In the same way, one protects themselves from a spouse with any addiction, with treatment, counseling, and an escape plan to make a safe exit when it becomes time.

Divorce Attorney Leslie Barrows helps families affected by addiction, including gambling addiction. A gambling addict is not in control. A person who is not in control may have other problems that present risks to others. In many instances, the gambler also has a drinking or drug addiction. Maybe they quit drinking or using drugs and became addicted to gambling instead of using substances. For whatever reason, it is important to spot the problems addiction presents in a family and get professional help.

How to Protect Yourself from a Gambling Spouse

Protect yourself from a gambling spouse because you and your family need financial security. In treatment for gambling addiction, there are processes we can take to protect the money from the gambler. It depends on where the relationship stands as to what are the best options to help the gambling spouse versus getting away and preventing the funds from being depleted.

Nolo Article on Spendthrift Trusts – A Spendthrift Trust Protects Property from an Irresponsible Beneficiary and His or Her Creditors

Talking to your divorce lawyer is important when planning to exit the marriage and file for divorce without the spouse finding out, withdrawing all the money, and betting the marital estate on a betting table. That does not mean the other spouse can ice out the gambler either or cut off their resources for basic living. The status quo needs to be preserved when a divorce suit is filed, and there are reasonable and necessary options to protect against the wasting of marital assets when that concern is present with a gambling-addicted spouse.

How to Divorce a Gambler: Time to Call Their Bluff

Gambling spouses bet that they have power over the other spouse and they won’t go through with filing for divorce. They expect those spouses to stick around and keep codependently covering up for their gambling addiction despite the damage it causes to the family. They tell their spouse how much they love them for supporting them, even though they may be causing damage to everyone involved.

Simply, if one loves the other enough, call their bluff, call the lawyer, and go. The addict with no consequences never gets help on their own. Why would they? The spouse who stays is the spouse who enables them when we talk about addiction. And if filing for divorce gets the other one to get help, maybe the marriage can be saved after all, but be ready to be done for good.

The spouses and family members of addiction must be in treatment for the impact addiction has on everyone else. Addiction is a family disease, regardless of the nature of the addiction.

Divorcing a Spouse Addicted to Gambling, Substances, and Their Dopamine

Addiction takes many forms and gambling can go along with a list of complementary vices that tear people and relationships apart. People with strong addiction problems seem to learn how to quit things to which they become self-destructively dependent. As people trade one addiction for the next, there seems to be an underlying sense of a loss of control or a general sense of self-worth and satisfaction, and that void is filled by dopamine. Yes, the naturally occurring brain chemical, dopamine, is what our brain releases to give us bursts of pleasure and satisfaction. Whether it be the smell of cookies in the oven, the sound of the oven timer, or the taste of freshly baked treats, we love those experiences because they release dopamine.

Recent Blog Article: Using Infidelity as Leverage in Divorce in Texas (gambling can also be used in pleading fault grounds in divorce, seeking a greater share)

Psychologically, people are addicted to their dopamine and whatever triggers the feel-good in their brain. Gambling addicts, like addicts to any other substances or activities, need professional help to stop these activities and learn underlying issues that need attention.

While divorcing a spouse addicted to gambling, it is important to remember to be firm yet patient in the process of property division, child custody, support, and communicating for litigation and settlement. Be prepared for the addiction to be addressed in the process and know it might have an impact on the outcome of the process depending on the situation. Know that experienced family lawyers at the Barrows Firm are accustomed to divorce and family cases where addiction is a source of conflict and often the reason for divorce.

Divorcing a Gambling Addict: Use the Barrows Firm in Southlake (817) 481-1583