22 February 2016 at 3:54 pm #4584
My sister is married to a CG. She knew he had a problem when they got married and she helped pay off all his debts, he assured her this was the folly of youth and he wouldn’t gamble any more. They have been married for about 7 years now and she recently found out that he has been gambling for the last 5 years (at least) while slowly draining their savings and accumulating credit card debt. When confronted he agreed to anything she said, including therapy and relinquishing control of any money and assets (no credit cards, work cheque gets deposited to her account, no more shared bank accounts etc…).
My concern is that in the best of circumstances, she will have to vigilantly watch her finances for the rest of her life. In the worst case scenario, he will accumulate debt without her knowledge (new credit cards to POB addresses, new lines of credit on the house, insurance and/or other fraud etc…). Since they live in California, my understanding of the law is that all assets and all debt are equally divided in case of divorce. Is there any way to avoid that? Does anyone here have experience with post nuptial agreements?22 February 2016 at 4:45 pm #4585
I’m sorry but this site is not able to give advice on post nuptial agreements.
What we can do and would willingly do, is support your sister in a way that will help her cope, help her understand the addiction to gamble and help her make her own decision on what she wants to do with her life.
Your sister needs support but positive support is the best.
Your sister will almost certainly be lacking in self-confidence and self-esteem as a result of this experience and it is important that she recovers herself gently and with good support, following which she will know what she wants to do.
I suggest that you sister starts a thread and she will be treated with the utmost consideration and understanding.
Velvet22 February 2016 at 5:00 pm #4586
Thank you for your reply. Can you direct me to a forum that discusses these issues?22 February 2016 at 5:12 pm #4587
You are on it. if she starts a thread, the same as you have done, I will walk with her for as long as she wants me to do so.
I also have a Friends and Family Group that is completely private tomorrow 20.00-21.00 hours UK time. We communicate in real time and nothing said in the group appears on the forum. Your sister would be very welcome and safe.
Thank you for looking after her so well
Velvet22 February 2016 at 5:28 pm #4588
My sister is not one for internet chatting and has consulted with various experts in the field to help her husband with this addiction. I was hoping to provide her with some independent research specifically on the topic of protecting herself and the kids from future financial harm by insulating them from his potential future losses. If there is any material that you can direct me to, I’ll read, digest and summarize for her. If there is an expert you can direct me to in Northern California, I’ll consult with them. If anyone else on this forum has gone through this and managed to separate assets while staying married, then I would love to hear the details.22 February 2016 at 7:32 pm #4589nomore 56Participant
First of all, I cannot give you any legal advice. I can only share my own experience with the issues you mentioned. Your sister might want to consult an attorney to get the answers she needs.
I live in WA and we also have the community property law here. It makes dealing with the financial side of being married to a cg pretty difficult on top of everything else. There are some things your sis can do to protect herself and the kids right now. She can sign up for a good credit monitoring service for herself and her hb as well. Can be done online and she should not share the password with her hb. Personally, I did not share the fact itself with my hb. She might also pull the credit records from all three agencies for both of them to see if there is anything he did not tell her. I got a post office box with only one key so I could check all incoming mail. That was very helpful. If the bank accounts are in her name only, she might want to have the bank put a red flag on the accounts in case her hb tries to go behind her back. No need to be embarrassed, my bank actually told me that I was by far not the only one with the alerts in place. If she does online banking, change the passwords frequently and not share them with anyone. If the car(s) is/are in both names, change the title to her only. My hb sold both of our cars behind my back. It is very important that she keeps cash and bank cards in a safe place at all times. Cgs are very sneaky and smart when it comes to finding resources for money. Last but not least she might want to make sure that the taxes are filed correctly. I left that to my hb and surprise, it resulted in a huge debt which left me no choice but to file separately ever after.
California has a Council on Problem Gambling and Gambling Addiction. It is located in Anaheim and you can find the website online. These councils are present in almost every state and are a great resource for info of all kinds.
Hope this helps a bit.
As an afterthought, your sister is very lucky to have you as someone to go to for help and support! It is so very important to not fight the battle alone.22 February 2016 at 8:03 pm #4590
wow! Thank you nomore 56 for the very thorough and detailed reply. It is exactly the kind of info I was looking for and any other tidbits would be greatly appreciated.
I wish I could do more for her; right now a hug and regular communication seems to be helping but I know she is in a tough spot and I’d hate for her to face additional adversity when he (likely? inevitably? possibly?) falls off the proverbial wagon.22 February 2016 at 10:09 pm #4591nomore 56Participant
Jack, don’t underestimate the power of a hug and good communication! When my world fell apart, I was alone. My family and friends live in Europe and my hb’s family blamed me for their own enablement. The only people providing support where the members of my GamAnon group. I still think, your sis should consider consulting a lawyer in re. to the assets. Especially about the family home. My hb convinced me to apply for an equity loan to pay off the cars and then falsified the application amount. I had no clue what was going on. But I do remember that I had to sign off on everything because the house was in both our names. A lawyer will be able to clarify all that.
As for having to watch a cg vigilantly, it all depends. Nobody knows if your bil will relapse. Personally I found it a lot easier to focus on myself and my daughter again once I had the safety measures in place and knew that there wasn’t much my hb could do without me finding out. My head was clearer and the constant anxiety decreased. Better late than never, because I had lost my house, my car, and everything else. Filed for bankruptcy for debt I knew nothing about and was left with no credit score to speak of. It doesn’t have to be this way. I can only speak for myself but I would have gladly traded the losses for the responsibility to monitor the money etc. for the rest of my life. A small price to pay imho. My hb is now in real recovery since his last inpatient treatment over 6 yrs ago. We are married but don’t live together. He has enough income to make a living and so do I. Should he ask me for money without a reasonable explanation and nothing to show for it, I would refuse. Trust is not a right, it’s a privilege that has to be earned.22 February 2016 at 10:20 pm #4592
As an organisation we do not give legal advice which is why different member’s experiences are so valuable.
This organisation supports those affected by the addiction to gamble so that they can make their own informed decisions on their lives. While they are making what is probably the most important decision of their lives, however, a hug and a listening ear can be the greatest support and comfort of all.
It is not inevitable that your sister’s husband will fall off the proverbial wagon although he does need treatment. I am happy to say I know of many CGs who live wonderful, useful lives. What your sister wants from her relationship is important. Many family members often just want to see the CG gone in the belief that if you get rid of the person then life will return to ‘normal’. However CGs are not bad people and they are loved. It is important, I think, to respect that some people do not see getting rid of the CG as their answer although obviously I don’t know what your sister wants.
Nomore is right when she says that there is no need to be embarrassed when talking to banks etc. because this is a recognised addiction and it occurs in the best families and relationships. Your brother-in-law neither asked for nor wanted his addiction and however he appears to be, his self-esteem will be poor – he needs treatment and it is available. He probably gambled for fun as so many of us have done but for him addiction was waiting and he would have been in too deep by the time he realised it.
So keep communicating with your sister and hugging her – you are doing a great job
Velvet22 February 2016 at 10:27 pm #4593
another quick Hi
I was obviously writing at the same time as Nomore so I hadn’t read her last post. Having now read it I just wanted to say ditto to everything she has said. Playing detective doesn’t work, the best thing your sister can do is put herself first.
I’m off to bed now
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.