Dissipation: He Stopped Making Mortgage Payments and We May Lose the House

dissipation, Illinois law, DuPage County Family LawyerReceiving a foreclosure notice can be extremely frightening. The idea of losing your home may be overwhelming and confusing, as you try to figure out what to do. The situation can be even more complication if you were unaware of the danger, especially in relationship to a divorce situation. You trusted you spouse to continue making the mortgage payments until the divorce was finalized, and now you find out he did not. While it may not provide immediate relief, you may have some recourse available in the form of a dissipation claim, which can help you recoup some of the value lost by your spouse’s action or inaction.

Dissipation Explained

When a marriage has begun to irreparably break down, both spouses must take care not to spend or devalue resources in such a way that the other would be affected during the divorce process. This is known as dissipation, and includes both marital and non-marital property. Reckless spending on purposes unrelated to the marriages, unreasonable gifts, and allowing real estate to fall into disrepair or foreclosure are all considered types of dissipation. The dissipation of marital assets is understood to have a direct impact on the division of property process, while dissipating non-marital assets affects a spouse’s personal resources, a consideration for child support, spousal maintenance, and other proceedings.

Making Your Claim

Most reasonable people would recognize wasteful spending or the active dissipation of property. However, a foreclosure situation falls into the category of “failure to preserve assets,” an equally problematic, but more complicated, matter. To be considered properly, you must file your claim with the court, explaining:

  • The date or event that marks the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage;
  • The property you believe was dissipated, and the manner in which the dissipation occurred; and
  • The time period in which the dissipation occurred.

All three elements are important, since reckless spending and the devaluing of assets are not considered dissipation in the course of a marriage. Such behavior only becomes dissipation when it becomes evident that divorce is imminent. Thus, you must be prepared to demonstrate the point at which divorce became imminent and that your spouse knew as well.

Pursuing a claim for dissipation can be helpful in reestablishing the marital estate for the purposes of equitable distribution. This is very necessary to ensure that your rights are fully protected during and after the divorce. If you have additional questions about dissipation or need to pursue a claim, contact an experienced divorce attorney in Aurora. Call [[phone]] to schedule a free consultation at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. today.

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