You may have heard it said that Wisconsin is a “no fault” divorce state. It is true that in Wisconsin divorce proceedings, there is a presumption that all property will be divided equally and generally without regard to marital misconduct.
However, where misconduct has had direct financial consequences, the Court does have the discretion to consider an unequal division of assets. The Court does have the power to take excessive gambling losses into account and award the non-gambling spouse more than ½ of the estate under the theory that the person who did not gamble should be protected from the financial consequences of the gambling spouse’s conduct. If the gambling was caused by a medical or psychological problem such as a gambling addiction, the Court may also take that into account and still divide property equally. Such determinations may depend on whether the spouse with the gambling addiction sought treatment for the addiction or made other attempts to correct their behavior. The Court is also more likely to deviate from an equal division of property where there is accurate documentation as to the value of assets lost through gambling. It may be possible to obtain records of winnings or losses from a gambling establishment.
If there has been a depletion of assets due to gambling by you or your spouse, it is important to bring this issue to the attention of your attorney so that the proper evidence may be developed and appropriate arguments made.
For additional information about this blog post or your family law related matters, please contact Henry Family Law Offices, LLC at 6080836-0980 or e-mail office manager – Laura Ayala at Laura@henrylaw.net.