Unfortunately, the end of a marriage relationship can sometimes bring out the worst in people. Some divorcing spouses are so angry that they act out maliciously toward the other spouse. They may threaten their spouse, refuse to cooperate with the divorce process, or destroy their spouse’s property.
If your spouse destroyed, ruined, sold, or otherwise wasted money or property during your divorce, you may be able to seek legal recourse through a “dissipation of assets” claim.
What is Dissipation of Assets?
Illinois law describes dissipation of assets as “any act or series of acts resulting in the depletion of marital property for a non-marital purpose.” The law goes on to state that dissipation claims can be filed by either spouse during a divorce proceeding.
Dissipation may refer to reckless or intentional actions. For example, if a spouse has an addiction, money that is spent on drugs or alcohol may be considered dissipation. Buying expensive gifts for an affair partner may also be considered dissipation. Destroying a spouse’s property – such as breaking furniture, setting fire to a spouse’s clothes, or damaging a car – would also be considered dissipation.
For property destruction to be considered dissipation of assets, it must have taken place while the marriage was undergoing an irretrievable breakdown. So, if you and your spouse separated and your spouse sought revenge by destroying your property, you may be able to file a dissipation claim. However, you cannot file a claim for actions your spouse took several years before your marital trouble began.
Legal Remedies for Dissipation of Assets
If the court finds that your spouse dissipated assets, you may be compensated in a few different ways. The court may award you a larger share of the marital property, order your spouse to pay you back for money spent on dissipation, or force your spouse to liquidate assets to compensate you.
Make sure to act quickly if you suspect that your spouse’s actions may be considered dissipation of assets. You must file the claim within 60 days before the trial or 30 days after the end of the discovery portion of your divorce. Reach out to a lawyer today to discuss your situation and explore your legal options.
Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer
If you are getting divorced and your spouse has recklessly spent marital funds, destroyed property, or otherwise squandered assets, you may be able to file a dissipation of assets claim. The court may distribute the remaining marital property in a way that compensates you for the value of the destroyed property. At [[title]], we know that divorce can bring out the worst in people and we are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf. Call our skilled St. Charles divorce lawyers at [[phone]] for a free consultation.