If a spouse was using marital funds to pay for gambling debts, would fault play a role in property division?

If the fault was something like one of the spouses had an undisclosed gambling addiction and was using marital funds to pay for those gambling debts? Would there be any difference made in terms of property division if this was discovered upon divorce, that he or she had gambled away $50,000 or $100,000 of marital property?

By Sean Sullivan
August 21, 2016

Sure, if the person had inequitably divided property or given it out, or the person had in that case what's termed as dissipation. In that case, the spouse who had dissipated the asset or gotten/ unlawfully misappropriated funds that the other spouse wasn’t aware of, would then owe a contribution back to the marital estate to account for that.


Sean Sullivan is a family lawyer practicing in the Elmhurst, Illinois area at the law offices of Laura M Urbik Kern, specializing in child custody and dissolution in divorce. Visit his website, www.laurakern.com, and Divorce Magazine profile.

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August 21, 2016
Categories:  Financial Issues|FAQs

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