You should be on guard against your spouse dissipating your marital assets during your divorce. Some people will transfer assets into hidden accounts or make reckless or selfish expenditures before their spouse gets a chance to divide the assets in the divorce. At one time, Illinois law would automatically freeze a couple’s marital assets at the start of the divorce, but the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional because it was overly broad and lacking due process. Instead, you can protect your marital assets by requesting a temporary financial restraining order.
What Does the Order Do?
A temporary financial restraining order prevents both you and your spouse from spending, transferring, disposing of, or concealing your assets without permission from the court during your divorce. There is an exception for the assets that you use to pay for basic living expenses, such as food, housing, and utilities. Major purchases of non-essential items or amenities would require permission from the court. A temporary order will usually last for 10 days and can be extended after a full court hearing.
How Can You Receive an Order?
The court will issue a financial restraining order if you can prove all of the following:
- You own assets that you have a right to protect.
- You will be irreparably harmed if those assets are not protected.
- The law does not provide an adequate means of protecting your assets.
- The order would not cause harm to your spouse.
You may need a full court hearing to prove all of these points, which is why you start with a temporary order if there is an imminent threat of your spouse dissipating your assets.
Why Might You Need an Order?
Some divorces have a higher likelihood that a spouse will hide or dissipate marital assets. Circumstances may include:
- Your spouse has sole control over financial accounts that contain marital assets
- Your spouse is having an affair and might be spending marital assets on their affair partner
- Your spouse has an addiction problem and may be tempted to spend marital assets to feed that addiction
- Your spouse has a history of making unwise, expensive purchases without consulting you
Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer
It is important to keep your marital assets intact throughout your divorce to make sure that you are receiving a fair share of your properties. A Naperville, Illinois, divorce attorney at Calabrese Associates, P.C., can help you obtain a financial restraining order or prove that your spouse has already been dissipating assets. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-393-3111.