Divorcing a Compulsive Spender

Money problems are the second leading cause of divorce in couples surveyed by Ramsey Solutions in 2018. Usually, money problems are the result of poor communication and differing values, but sometimes they come with bigger underlying issues. Compulsive shopping is one of those problems. 

Compulsive shoppers are often stress shopping, and few things are more stressful than a bad marriage or an impending divorce. Unfortunately, the desire to spend couldn’t come at a worse time. If you’re in the middle of a divorce, compulsive spending is going to reduce the money you need to make the shift from a joint household to two single households. 

The last thing you want to do is sign divorce papers and then sign bankruptcy papers. 

Protect Your Marital Assets from a Spendthrift Spouse

There are several actions you can take to protect your marital assets from being wasted when you’re divorcing a compulsive shopper. 

Get a temporary financial restraining order: A temporary restraining order will freeze joint accounts and assets. It will prevent both parties from closing accounts, withdrawing money, and transferring or selling marital property. After a temporary restraining order is granted, a hearing will be scheduled to decide if the injunction should stay in place until the divorce is finalized. 

Separate your finances: You don’t want to be financially liable for your partners’ bad decisions. Consider getting a legal separation. This will separate your finances so you won’t be on the hook for your partner’s debts. 

Bring a claim for dissipation of marital assets: Texas law prohibits spouses from wasting (dissipating) marital assets during the course of a divorce. Spouses can use marital funds for reasonable expenses but they can’t do things like make lavish gifts to family members, transfer funds to another account, or take out a loan that the other partner didn’t authorize. 

A temporary restraining order can prevent assets from being taken, but if it’s already happened, then you need to bring your case to the judge to get your money back. Your divorce attorney will work with you to figure out how much money was “wasted” so that you can be awarded additional marital assets in the property settlement agreement. 

Get Legal Help to Protect Your Marital Assets

You don’t have to go through a challenging divorce alone. Fort Worth divorce attorney V. Wayne Ward is here to help. To learn more about protecting your marital assets, talk with a divorce attorney. Call 817-789-4436 or send us a message.