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How Addictions Affect Divorce in Ontario


According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, almost 5% of the province’s population struggles with some kind of addiction-related mental health issue. This is higher than the national average of about 4%.  Addictions often appear during marriage, and in some cases they cause marriages to end. How might an addiction affect your divorce in Ontario?

Gambling Addiction 

There are several types of addiction, and one of the most overlooked is an addiction to gambling. This is actually quite common in Canada, with 64% of all Canadians over the age of 15 gambling at least once per year. Statistics Canada points out that lower-income people are not only more likely to gamble, but they are also more likely to experience financial issues afterwards.

This highlights one of the key issues with gambling during marriage: Dissipation of marital assets. If a spouse has a clear gambling addiction and throws away the family fortune at the local casino, this can have major consequences in the case of a divorce. This was highlighted by a recent case in Ontario involving an ex-wife with a severe gambling addiction. The ex-husband successfully established that the wife had lost approximately $5 million over the course of the marriage, and this completely barred the wife from receiving any money from the property division process.

 Drug Addiction 

While gambling addictions have a lower chance of affecting custody, the same cannot be said for drug addictions. If a spouse has a serious addiction to drugs, this may cause the court to doubt their fitness as a parent. Buying and using illegal drugs can be dangerous, and the court may find that exposing the children to these dangers is not in their best interests. As a result, the court is less likely to award custody to parents with drug addictions.


Drinking alcohol may be legal, but it can still present dangers for the children and family members during marriages. This is especially true in the context of impaired driving. If a parent has been charged with a DUI in the past, this could indicate not only alcoholism, but also a potential hazard for the children. If a parent was charged with a DUI with their child in the vehicle, this constitutes child abuse – and it is likely to result in unfavorable custody outcomes.

Where Can I Find a Qualified Divorce Lawyer in Ontario? 

If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced Mississauga divorce lawyer, look no further than Zagazeta Garcia, LLP. Over the years, we have helped numerous divorcing spouses pursue positive results. If you experienced addiction during your divorce, you should immediately discuss your unique situation with a lawyer. This mental health issue may affect your divorce in more ways than you realize. Book a consultation today to get started.





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