DuPage County divorce lawyerRecklessly spending money before a marriage is completely over could land a spouse in trouble in divorce proceedings. All spouses must obey the divorce order once the judge has entered it, but before a divorce is finalized, each spouse has the obligation to preserve marital assets to the fullest extent possible. If not, they could be considered to be dissipating marital assets and may face punishment from the court.

The Legal Definition of Dissipation in Illinois

Dissipation does not mean simply wasting marital assets. The Illinois Supreme Court had defined dissipation as the “use of marital property for the sole benefit of one of the spouses for a purpose unrelated to the marriage at a time that the marriage is undergoing an irretrievable breakdown.”

While the classic example of dissipation is spending money on a new lover, the definition could also apply to situations that reach beyond that. For example, Illinois courts have even found dissipation when one spouse donated money to a church. If the spouse made a large purchase for themselves, or they failed to properly tend to marital assets, they could be found to be responsible for dissipation.

Illinois Law Is Not Always Predictable

There are a number of different ideas in Illinois courts regarding dissipation. For example, courts are divided about whether the prohibition on dissipation begins when the marriage is breaking down or after it is irretrievably broken. Courts are also divided on what is considered dissipation, especially when one spouse has moved out and is using money for their own home. When in doubt, you should be careful and get legal advice before spending large amounts of money because you could pay a price later. 

Any Dissipation Will Be Considered During the Division of Assets

Illinois courts use principles of equitable division to split marital assets between the spouses. The court looks at many factors to fairly divide property. If one spouse is found to have dissipated assets, the court will consider that in the ultimate division of assets. The judge may punish the spouse who wasted marital assets by giving them less money. 

Contact a Naperville Divorce Attorney Today

Counsel from a Will County divorce lawyer is about more than just negotiating your separation agreement or litigating your divorce. You will need practical legal advice along the way, so you do not make any mistakes. Contact the attorneys at the [[title]] by calling us today at [[phone]]. We offer free consultations for new clients. 




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