Divorcing a Spendthrift Spouse in Illinois

shopaholicMost addictions manifest as a substance abuse problem, such as too much drinking or the use of illicit drugs. However, addictive or compulsive behaviors present themselves in many more ways than substance abuse. Gambling, shopping, and even overeating can all become compulsive behaviors that negatively affect a family’s life.

Financial problems resulting from a shopping addiction can devastate a family’s finances and ruin their future prospects. Although some people will seek help and overcome their compulsive behaviors, some will not or cannot, and their spouse ultimately needs to decide whether it is time to get divorced.

Protecting Your Finances

One of the first things someone divorcing a spendthrift spouse must do is take steps to protect their finances. Even if it may seem as though a financial situation is already too wrecked by compulsive spending to ever overcome, there are things individuals can do to protect themselves moving forward. Here are several steps to consider:

  • Begin separating your finances – Spouses of spendthrift individuals may want to open a separate bank account and place their earnings in a place where their spouse cannot access them. People can also request that credit cards and lines of credit be frozen or closed, making it impossible to make future purchases.
  • File for a financial restraining order – Financial restraining orders can be obtained to keep spouses from spending certain monies during divorce. These restraining orders can legally prohibit someone from closing or emptying bank accounts, hiding money or other assets, spending extravagantly, or selling marital property to fuel their spending habit. Violating these orders can place a spouse in danger of being held in contempt of court, which carries serious penalties.
  • File for a legal separation – Legal separation can give spouses the option of dividing their finances, and then keeping their finances separate until the divorce is finalized. Legal separation does not officially end a marriage, but it requires spouses to address certain issues – such as division of debt and assets – that can pave the way towards an easier divorce.
  • Consider a dissipation claim – If one spouse wastes property under certain conditions, the other spouse may be able to recover some or all of the value of that property through a dissipation claim. Dissipation claims must be proved using evidence and have time limits and conditions placed on them, so it is important to talk to an attorney about whether your situation may qualify for a dissipation claim.

Get Advice From a Rolling Meadows, IL Divorce Attorney

Making the decision to divorce a spouse who cannot or will not manage their money appropriately is a difficult and often heart-wrenching decision. At Cosley Law Office, we understand that making these choices are not easy and are here to help you navigate every step of your divorce. We can advise you on how to begin extricating yourself financially from your spouse and will prepare your case to put you in a position of strength. Contact our offices to set up a confidential consultation with an Arlington Heights, IL divorce lawyer today. Call us at 847-253-3100.

 

Source:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+IV%2DA&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=5400000&SeqEnd=6200000

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