The process of assessing an appropriate division of property is a complex one, involving an analysis of the history of the relationship over many years.
There are many factors that come in to play, and occasionally the issue arises about how the law treats a large loss of money through gambling or other wasteful conduct.
The law is clear that when a party’s conduct has caused substantial loss, then that may be taken in to account in assessing a just and equitable division of property.
However, to influence property settlement division this sort of conduct needs to have had a significant consequence, and must go beyond expenditure that could be categorised as merely a hobby, or entertainment.
A case we were involved in concerned one party’s gambling losses of more than $100,000 in a relatively modest pool of assets. In that case the innocent party received an adjustment in their favour because of the wasteful conduct of the gambler.
Each case turns on its individual facts, and in many cases, there are a series of issues, some that cut one way, and some that cut the other. All these factors must be weighed up to come to the fair outcome.
What’s the lesson from all this?
The important thing to remember is that that no two cases are the same, that the law is complex, and the Courts have a very wide discretion to make decisions.
It’s only when you go into the detail of the matter, and understand that some factors favour one side, and some factors favour the other, that one is able to predict the outcome through the courts.
Don’t rely on friends, family or Google.
It is essential you obtain specialist legal advice from us about your particular circumstances.
Get advice, get it now, get it right, before you go Wrong.