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What You Need to Know When Divorcing Someone With a Shopping Addiction

Posted on in Division of Assets

Oak Brook asset dissipation attorneyThanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, online shopping is more popular than ever. Shoppers can purchase thousands of dollars of new items with a just few clicks - all from the comfort of their own home. Unfortunately, online shopping can sometimes develop into a full-blown addiction. Studies show that approximately 5-8 percent of Americans suffer from compulsive shopping or shopping addiction. If your spouse is a compulsive shopper, it is essential that you take steps to protect yourself and your finances during divorce.

Shopping Addiction Can Lead to Severe Financial Consequences

When most people hear the terms “addiction” or “addict,” they think of substance abuse or alcoholism. However, shopping addiction is a very real phenomenon that can have devastating implications. Individuals struggling with shopping addiction or compulsive buying disorder often recognize that they are spending much more than they can afford, but they are unable to stop the behavior. They may max out credit cards, sell items of great financial or sentimental value, or even resort to shoplifting to fulfill the compulsion. The financial and personal consequences of shopping addiction can be dramatic.

How to Protect yourself When Divorcing a Compulsive Shopper

Because divorce is quite stressful, and compulsive shoppers often cope with stress by shopping, it is possible that this behavior will escalate. Whether your spouse suffers from compulsive shopping or simply makes unwise financial decisions, protecting your finances during your divorce is crucial.

In order to protect your right to a fair division of property and safeguard your finances during divorce, you may want to:

  • Get separate bank accounts and inform your spouse of how much money you are transferring from one account to the other so that you are not accused of hiding assets.

  • Document important assets by taking photographs of them.

  • Gather financial documents like bank statements, credit card statements, and tax returns.

  • Educate yourself about your financial situation.

  • Get a temporary financial restraining order. A financial restraining order is a court order that prohibits spouses from making significant or unusual financial transactions during divorce. Spouses can still buy groceries, pay bills, and make other necessary purchases, but they cannot sell property, empty bank accounts, borrow against assets, or take certain other financial actions.

  • Work with an attorney who is experienced in divorce cases involving addiction issues and complex financial situations.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

If your spouse has wasted money, lied about finances, or made impulsive buying purchases, it is very likely that this behavior will influence your divorce case. A Naperville divorce attorney from the Pesce Law Group, P.C. can help you take steps to protect your finances during divorce. Call 630-352-2240 for a free, confidential consultation.


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