DuPage County Family Law AttorneyA crucial part of the divorce process involves dividing the spouses’ assets and debts. Depending on your particular situation, you may need to address real estate, vehicles, art and collectibles, business interests, and many other assets. You may also have credit cards, loans, and other debt to deal with during the property division portion of your divorce. One issue that can make the division of assets even more complicated is asset “dissipation.” The word dissipation refers to waste, misuse, or destruction of property. In some cases, divorcing spouses may recoup the value of dissipated assets through a dissipation of assets claim.

What Counts as Dissipation of Assets?

Illinois law states that dissipation occurs when marital property is sold, destroyed, or used for a purpose unrelated to the marriage and in a way that only benefits one of the spouses. The waste of assets must occur during the marriage’s “breakdown” to count as dissipation. The marital breakdown is usually defined as the point at which the couple stops trying to salvage the marriage. For example, if you and your spouse decided to divorce and then he or she destroyed your shared property in revenge, you may have a valid dissipation of assets claim.

Other examples of dissipative acts may include:

  • Intentionally not paying bills such as the mortgage payment

  • Gifting or transferring money to other parties without the other spouse’s consent

  • Making large purchases without the other spouse’s consent

  • Spending money to buy an affair partner lavish gifts

  • Going on an expensive vacation with an affair partner

  • Purposefully destroying items of monetary or sentimental value

  • Spending an excessive amount of money gambling

  • Losing money in a bad investment without the spouse’s knowledge

Illinois case law asserts that spending money on legitimate living expenses is not considered dissipation. Also, the dissipated assets must be atypical and substantial to justify a dissipation of assets claim.

What Should I Do If My Spouse Wasted Money or Property?

If your spouse dissipated assets, you may be able to recover the wasted funds. Through a dissipation of assets claim, your spouse may be required to reimburse the marital estate for the value of the dissipated assets. However, you need to file the claim within a certain time frame for a successful claim to be feasible. Speak to a divorce lawyer as soon as possible to get started.

Contact a Naperville Divorce Lawyer for Help

If your spouse ruined, sold, or spent assets without your consent during your separation or divorce, contact Goostree Law Group for legal help. Our Wheaton divorce attorneys can evaluate your situation and help you take the next steps. Call us today at 630-364-4046 for a free consultation.

Source:

https://www.isba.org/sites/default/files/cle/Dissipation.pdf

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