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# Seeking Help for a Family Member’s Severe Gambling Addiction

## Background

I have a pressing concern regarding my father, who is currently 57 years old and struggling with a severe gambling addiction. Unfortunately, this addiction has led him to lose his entire 401k savings, accumulating over $75,000 in credit card debt, and taking out two personal loans amounting to $50,000. Despite earning a comfortable income of $115,000 per year, his financial obligations including mortgage payments, utilities, credit card debt, and personal loans now exceed his total earnings.

## Current Situation

My father’s situation is dire, as he is on the brink of losing everything due to his inability to control his gambling habits. The root of the problem seems to lie in the legalization of online casinos in our state, which has fueled his addiction further. Despite recommendations for bankruptcy, he is reluctant to pursue this option as even a chapter 13 bankruptcy would still require a significant portion of his monthly income.

## Seeking Solutions

Given the urgency of the situation, I am exploring potential avenues to intervene in my father’s financial affairs. One option that has come to mind is filing a motion or petition with the court to have control over his finances. However, navigating the legal complexities of such a process can be overwhelming.

## How AI Legalese Decoder Can Help

The AI Legalese Decoder can provide valuable assistance in deciphering the legal jargon and requirements involved in filing a motion or petition to take control of someone’s finances. By utilizing this tool, I can gain a clearer understanding of the steps involved, the potential outcomes, and the necessary documentation needed to pursue this course of action. This resource can streamline the process and empower me to take effective steps towards helping my father regain control over his financial situation.

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View Reference


  • many_meats

    It’s very likely you’d have to have him be diagnosed formally, by someone like a licensed psychiatrist, in order to stand a chance of getting a conservatorship.

    But it is possible to get one over a diagnosed gambling addict.

  • Dazzling-Excuses

    The short answer is no. Adults are allowed to royally screw up their lives.

  • SaucyMacaroon

    At 57 and if he does not have any real mental health issues, likely not. You can look at it the same way as if you were screwing up your life at 22. Would your father legally be able to get a conservatorship over you? Likely only in certain cases like with a well documented history of mental illness. Otherwise, as an adult you are free to destroy your life financially all you want.

    Maybe the easier option would be to try to work with him to improve his financial situation. As an adult and as your parent, he will need to feel it is his decision and he is somewhat in control, otherwise he will likely fight you on it.

  • Mss88b

    Look into having him banned if youre desperate. Once they ban him he will never be allowed to gamble on those casinos again. Some online casinos just have a button to click to ban your account. They make is super easy to do. I think its called self exclusion or something but it’s pretty common among gamblers who have lost a ton.

  • FionaTheFierce

    A conservatorship implies that someone is no longer competent to manage their own affairs. That is generally determined by a psychiatrist or psychologist for mental health conditions (which gambling addiction would qualify as). I have seen it in the case of loss of mental abilities – head injury, dementia. severe mental illness, etc. So the answer seems to be … maybe. I would suggest consulting with a lawyer that handles estate planning as I think this is the closest related law field. They may be able to direct you to resources or evaluators.

    It is difficult because your father is relatively young and presumably otherwise competent (e.g. able to maintain employment, able to care for himself). He is just ill and unwilling to get treatment.

    Good luck OP – it is a really really awful addiction.

  • wotsname123

    So imagine you get control, what then? He isn’t moments away from anything, he already has an unpayable amount of debt. Making yourself the captain of that seems… suboptimal.

  • Knight2043

    Chapter 13 is not the end of the world. It could save what little he has left (his house and other assets). I’d strongly recommend talking to an attorney about it. He won’t have any disposable income for the next 5 years, and it won’t solve the root of the problem. He will need additional help for that. He will only be allowed to exempt the income he needs to live. Any other expenses deemed unnecessary will be distributed by a trustee of the court. They will allow a mortgage, car note, food, basic necessities including clothing and a cell phone. There are exemption amounts set by the government but will vary based on your location.

  • Ok-Meeting-984

    You will need to have tried all other less restrictive options, and have evidence that you tried, before you even try to petition the court for a hearing. 

    You will need a attorney in your jurisdiction to find out what you will need to do, and how to track your attempts in a way the court will accept. 

    Courts put a heavy burden on the petitioner to prove a conservitorship is necessary. 

  • Ok-Meeting-984

    Unless you can get him to agree to it. That would make it a lot easier. But again, there may be other options. 

  • matt_dot_txt

    Conservator laws vary by state so it would depend on the statutes in his state. But generally, the bar is pretty high to be granted conservatorship unless there’s a medical diagnosis that suggests he isn’t of sound mind or isn’t able to take care of himself. People are allowed to make their own decisions, even if they’re bad ones.

    I would go a different route, maybe have an intervention with him that includes friends and family.

  • siouxbee1434

    Talk to a lawyer