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How Does Dissipation of Assets Affect My Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on December 30, 2019 in Divorce

Oak Park divorce lawyer for asset dissipation claimsThe end of a marriage can be difficult, regardless of the reasons why a couple‚Äôs relationship broke down. Even an amicable divorce may have its challenges, since many legal issues will typically need to be resolved, including the division of assets. In Illinois, marital property is subject to equitable distribution. This means that any assets acquired during the marriage must be divided fairly. In some cases, it may be discovered that one spouse frivolously spent a large portion of the marital assets. Referred to as dissipation of assets, this typically occurs when one partner wastes money by making large purchases for his or her own benefit. This behavior often occurs when there are problems in the marriage, and a divorce is forthcoming. If you suspect that your spouse may have squandered marital funds, you may be entitled to compensation in your Illinois divorce settlement.   

Examples of Wasted Assets

There are many ways a person can dissipate assets or property. These include:

  • Gambling addictions

  • Substance abuse problems

  • Gifts for an extramarital affair

  • Withdrawing funds from joint accounts 

  • Pawning keepsakes for money

  • Incurring large credit card debt for non-marital purchases

Filing a Dissipation Claim

In some cases, a temporary financial restraining order can be issued to prohibit your spouse from selling, transferring, or wasting marital assets during a divorce. This restriction forbids the dissipation or destruction of marital property without the approval of both spouses.

Dissipation of assets is usually found during the discovery phase of the divorce process. A dissipation claim must be filed within 30 days after the discovery phase ends, or at least 60 days before the beginning of your divorce trial. It is important to note the dissipation must have taken place after the breakdown of your marriage began. The statute of limitations for this type of claim is three years after you discovered the dissipation. In addition, dissipation claims cannot be made for instances that took place more than five years before you filed a petition for divorce.

It can be tricky to prove your spouse dissipated assets. For instance, if he or she used a credit card for business purposes, there can be expensive charges that might appear to be suspicious. It is essential to distinguish between work-related expenses or funds used for an affair, and assistance from an experienced attorney along with a forensic accountant can help you do that.  

Contact a Cook County Divorce Lawyer

A divorce can be difficult under any circumstances, but when you find out that your spouse squandered your marital assets, you may be faced with a financial nightmare. The skilled law firm of Wakenight & Associates, P.C. understands how devastating it can be to lose money or valuables in your divorce. Our knowledgeable Oak Park dissipation of assets attorneys have more than 95 years of combined legal experience. We will diligently fight for what is rightfully yours according to the law. To schedule your free initial consultation, call us today at 708-848-3159.




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