Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP

Gambling is on the ballot. Is it in your divorce?

This November, voters in Massachusetts are going to have to consider whether or not they support the 2011 state law that expanded gaming. The law authorized the development of limited destination resort casinos in three separate regions in the state. Now, three years later, the question of whether to repeal the law or let it stand has been raised and will have to be answered.

It is a decision that will be made on a state level, but there are families across Massachusetts that deal with the matter on a much more personal level. Gambling is a very real addiction for some people, and it can cause serious strife in a relationship. In fact, financial issues are a leading cause of divorce. So what do you do if your spouse has a problem with gambling?

Protecting yourself financially in a divorce is absolutely an important reason to hire an experienced family law attorney. From the moment that you decide to obtain a divorce, a lawyer can begin helping protect your financial rights.

Part of this proactive protection is to address potential issues, including instances in which financial waste may be an issue. If your spouse has this type of addiction, you may be concerned with him or her gambling away a large portion of your marital interest. Your lawyer can take steps to prevent this from occurring. 

Issues of waste are certainly not limited to gambling. There are situations in which a spouse may make exorbitant purchases on a credit card, drain joint bank accounts or transfer property into a family member's name to avoid inclusion in the marital estate. Protect yourself with the assistance of an experienced attorney; it is a message that cannot be repeated enough. 

Source: WCVB 5, "Mass. voters to decide fate of casino law," Oct. 18, 2014

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