When you get divorced, you will likely be concerned about your finances. Shifting from sharing financial resources with your spouse to supporting yourself on a single income can be a difficult adjustment, and the decisions made about how you and your spouse will divide your marital assets can also affect the resources that will be available to you. Unfortunately, these issues can become even more complicated and difficult if your spouse has spent, wasted, or destroyed your marital property or if you are worried that they plan to do so. However, with the help of a skilled attorney, you can protect against the dissipation of marital assets and make sure you will have the financial resources you need.
What Is Asset Dissipation?
If one spouse uses marital funds or property for their sole benefit and for purposes unrelated to their marriage during the period where the marriage is undergoing an irretrievable breakdown, this is considered asset dissipation. For example, a spouse could spend marital funds while pursuing an extramarital affair, such as by buying gifts for someone other than their spouse or going on trips with that person and paying for plane tickets, hotel rooms, and meals. Dissipation could also include spending money on gambling or to further a drug addiction, buying expensive items solely for one’s own benefit, or intentionally destroying property.
If one spouse has dissipated assets, the other spouse can make an asset dissipation claim during the process of dividing marital property, asking the court to address this issue by requiring the spouse to reimburse the marital estate for the dissipated assets or grant the other spouse a larger share of marital property. A dissipation claim must be made at least 60 days before a divorce trial begins or 30 days after the end of the discovery process. Dissipation must have occurred after the date that the couple’s marriage began undergoing an irretrievable breakdown, and a spouse cannot make a dissipation claim more than three years after they knew or should have known about the dissipation or for an incident more than five years before either party filed a petition for divorce.
Unfortunately, by the time a spouse makes a dissipation claim during the divorce process, it may be too late, and marital assets may have already been spent or destroyed. However, a spouse can seek to prevent this from happening by filing a petition for a temporary restraining order that will freeze the couple’s assets during the divorce process. If this order is granted by the judge, it will prohibit both spouses from selling, transferring, concealing, or disposing of any marital assets while their divorce case is ongoing. While each spouse will be allowed to conduct regular business activities and make any expenditures necessary to meet their daily needs, their assets will be protected from loss through any major transactions or decisions that could affect their financial future.
Contact Our Naperville Asset Dissipation Lawyers
If you are concerned that your spouse has wasted any money or assets that you own together, Calabrese Associates, P.C. can help you take action to protect yourself and your family. We will work with you to make sure a temporary restraining order is put in place, and we will provide you with representation during the asset division process to ensure that you receive your fair share of the marital estate. To learn more about how we can help with your divorce, contact our DuPage County property division attorneys at 630-393-3111.