What is Dissipation of Marital Assets, and How Does It Affect My Illinois Divorce?

Dupage County asset dissipation lawyerIn a perfect world, couples who decide to end their marriage would do so amicably and without any ill feelings. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world, and divorcing couples are often much less than amicable. In some divorces, feelings of anger, resentment, greed, and spite are driving factors in decisions made by one or both spouses. In cases such as these, it is not uncommon for one spouse to do anything he or she can to keep the other spouse from receiving his or her fair share of the marital estate. The most common way of doing this is to waste the marital assets, also known as “dissipation.”

How Is Dissipation Defined in Illinois?

According to the Illinois Supreme Court, dissipation refers to the “use of marital property for the sole benefit of one of the spouses for a purpose unrelated to the marriage at a time the marriage is undergoing an irretrievable breakdown.” In other words, dissipation occurs when one spouse wastes, destroys, or spends marital property during the breakdown of the marriage for the purpose of depriving the other spouse of the property.

Examples of dissipation of marital property can include:

  • Spending money on a new girlfriend

  • Making large and uncharacteristic purchases

  • Withdrawing large amounts of cash from bank accounts

  • Gambling and losing money

  • Failing to pay mortgage payments

  • Destroying marital property, such as burning photographs

What Can I Do if My Spouse Has Dissipated Assets?

For some spouses, dissipation of assets can be extremely detrimental. For example, a spouse who sacrificed a career to stay home and perform domestic duties may depend on that portion of marital assets to support him or herself until returning to work. In a case where your spouse has wasted or destroyed a portion of your marital assets, declaring dissipation to the court can help.

To do this, you must provide notice that you intend to claim dissipation no later than 60 days before your trial or 30 days after discovery closes, whichever is the later date. Your notice should include the date or time period in which your marriage began going through an irretrievable breakdown, information about which property was dissipated, and the date or time period during which the dissipation occurred. Once you provide this information, the judge can factor the dissipation into how the remaining property will be divided.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

If you believe that your spouse has dissipated a portion of your marital estate, it is in your best interest to contact a knowledgeable Aurora, IL asset dissipation lawyer. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can help you claim dissipation during your property division and ensure you receive your fair portion of the marital estate. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2016/11/01/what-is-dissipation-of-assets-in-divorce-and-what-if-anything-can-you-do-about-it/#35de9c893ec0

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k503.htm

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