The division of marital property is a crucial aspect of the divorce process. Most of the assets acquired by either spouse during the course of the marriage are considered marital property. This can include bank accounts, retirement funds, real estate, investment income, and household items such as clothes and furniture.
Most divorcing couples negotiate a property division settlement. However, if the spouses are unable to determine a property division arrangement they can both agree to, the court makes a decision based on Illinois equitable distribution laws.
The dissipation of assets occurs when a spouse destroys, wastes, or misuses assets immediately prior to or during a divorce. A dissipation of assets claim may be used to recover reimbursement for assets that are squandered by the other spouse.
Dissipation of Assets Only Applies in Certain Situations
Illinois law states that dissipation of assets occurs when a spouse wastes assets while the marriage is undergoing an irretrievable breakdown. Typically, this irretrievable breakdown is marked by seized efforts to salvage the marriage. For example, if you and your spouse have decided to get divorced and your spouse goes and gambles away thousands of dollars from the savings account, this could be considered dissipation.
Dissipation of assets can also include spending money on an affair partner. For example, a spouse may dissipate assets by selling marital property and using the money to finance a luxurious vacation with a new boyfriend or girlfriend. Intentional destruction of property may also be considered dissipation of assets. For example, an angry spouse may throw clothes, jewelry, or other items in the trash in an act of revenge.
It is Important to Act Quickly
If you believe that your spouse has dissipated assets, speak to a divorce lawyer right away. Illinois law says that a notice of intent to claim dissipation of assets must be given within a specific time frame to be valid. Your attorney can help you find evidence of dissipation such as bank records, tax documents, credit card bills, and more. If dissipation can be proven, the court may require your spouse to reimburse the marital state for the lost property or funds.
It is also crucial to contact a lawyer if you are being accused of dissipation of assets. Your attorney can help you understand your rights and options in this situation.
Call Our DuPage County Divorce Lawyer
At Goostree Law Group, we provide skilled, dependable legal representation for divorcing spouses in Illinois. We can help you determine whether wasteful spending is considered dissipation of assets, and if so, what you can do about it. Call our knowledgeable Wheaton divorce attorneys at 630-364-4046 for a free initial consultation.