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Sheltering Assets From a Spouse With a Drug Addiction During Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorneysAccording to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly 20 million Americans suffered from a substance abuse disorder in 2017. If your spouse has a drug or alcohol addition, you know just how quickly a substance abuse problem can take over a person’s life. An expensive drug or alcohol problem can also cause people to make impulsive and destructive financial decisions. When divorcing a person with a substance abuse problem, it is crucial that you take steps to shelter your assets from misuse. There are several different protections that you can put in place that will help prevent your property from being used to further your spouse’s addiction.

Financial Restraining Orders

When most people hear the term “restraining order,” they think about a protection order for victims of domestic violence. A financial restraining order, however, is a different type of court order that freezes marital assets from being misused during divorce. The order may prohibit both you and your spouse from selling marital property, closing bank accounts, limiting the other spouse’s access to an account, changing beneficiaries, and more. Typically, a temporary financial restraining order lasts only 10 days. However, you can request a longer protection period by attending a court hearing and explaining your reasons for seeking financial protection.

Legal Separation and Postnuptial Agreements

It can be difficult to know for sure when a marriage is beyond saving. If you are not ready to file for divorce but you are worried that you spouse will waste assets on his or her addiction, one option to consider is a legal separation. Spouses who are legally separated are still technically married but they are not responsible for the debt accumulated by the other spouse after the separation has been issued. If you and your spouse reconcile, you can easily terminate the separation, and if the situation does not improve, you still have the option to divorce.

Another means of protecting your assets during divorce is a postnuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement is a legal contract that defines each spouse’s ownership of assets in the event of divorce. However, these documents are not legally binding if they are not properly executed. This is why it is crucial to work with an experienced divorce attorney.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

Divorcing a spouse with an addiction will involve many unique challenges. For dependable legal guidance and support from a lawyer you can trust, contact Pesce Law Group, P.C. Call our office today at 630-352-2240 and schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Naperville family law attorneys.



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