Dealing with a Spouse’s Improper Spending During an Illinois or Iowa Divorce

During divorce cases, it is not uncommon for a spouse to try and spend marital money in an inappropriate manner.  Sometimes that involves emptying out bank accounts.  Other times, a spouse will overuse credit cards during the divorce case.  It is important to address that improper spending quickly in Illinois or Iowa.


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Examples of improper expenditure of marital funds or accumulation of debt can include the following expenses:

  • Vacations (often with a new boyfriend or girlfriend)
  • Purchasing of gifts for a new girlfriend or boyfriend
  • Withdrawals from retirement accounts
  • Transferring money to family and friends in an attempt to hide it
  • Giving away of property, such as houses, cars, or other valuable things
  • Unnecessary restaurant expenses
  • Alcohol or bar expenses
  • Illegal drugs

The underlying reasons for a divorce, along with the emotions that can accompany the divorce process, often leads to a spouse acting in a financially irresponsible manner. Other times, the spouse will spend money or rack up debt with the express purpose of causing financial difficulty for the other spouse.  Regardless of the reasoning, such actions can pose quite a problem and should be swiftly addressed through the court.  Failing to do so can result in long-lasting financial hardship.  While the court can disapprove of a person’s actions after the fact and order them to reimburse their spouse, the court cannot make money appear out of thin air, so there are cases where the money being spent or the debt being incurred is not a situation that can be fixed later.

Often times as part of the temporary matters in Iowa or temporary allowances in Illinois, we will seek a court Order that addresses payment of necessary expenses and prohibits improper expenditures or withdrawals of money.  In other cases, we will use the injunction process to prevent a spouse from dissipating marital assets or accruing marital debt during the divorce case.


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For people with pending divorce cases in Iowa or Illinois, it is important to properly address financial matters before harm is caused. Doing so can result in a better resolution to the divorce case, as well as a more pleasant divorce process itself.