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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

1100 Lake Street, Suite 120, Oak Park, IL 60301

Oak Park | 708-848-3159

DuPage County | 630-852-9700   Mokena | 815-727-6144

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Oak Park divorce lawyer for asset dissipation claimsThe end of a marriage can be difficult, regardless of the reasons why a couple’s 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


Oak Park property division attorney for LGBTQ couplesThe state of Illinois legalized marriage between two people of the same sex in 2013. Same-sex couples have the same rights and responsibilities as their heterosexual counterparts regarding marriage. This means all the same issues will need to be resolved in the event of a divorce. In the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, marital property is defined as any assets that were acquired by either spouse after they were legally married and before a judgment of legal separation. In a divorce, any marital property is subject to “equitable distribution.” This method involves splitting assets acquired during the marriage in a “fair” manner, but not necessarily completely equally or in half. Same-sex couples who divorce can face unique challenges when dividing their property due to the nature of their relationship.  

What Is “Ownership of Property”?

Determining who gets what in a divorce is not always simple for LGBTQ couples. Same-sex partners may have been together for a long time before they could legally marry. Therefore, the partners may have brought many assets to the marriage, both together and separately. These can include cars, a house, furniture, artwork, clothing, and more. Items acquired before a couple was legally married are considered “separate property,” even if the partners had behaved as if they were married for a long period of time.

Determining ownership of property acquired before the date of marriage can be a complicated undertaking, since some of these assets may have been “commingled” during the relationship. That means even though one partner purchased an item, the other partner could have used or benefited from it. In many cases, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can be helpful, because it can specify who will own certain assets if the couple decides to get divorced.


Cook County divorce lawyer for middle aged spousesPeople are living longer these days, and as their children leave the nest, the bond that holds a marriage together can dissipate. A divorce at any age can be nerve-wracking, but for those couples who are over 40, it can be very intimidating. For some people, the thought of being alone after a long marriage is overwhelming. If you have been together for many years, figuring out how to divide your marital assets can also be complicated. A common concern for a newly single person is whether or not he or she will have the financial resources needed for retirement. It is important to become acquainted with Illinois’ divorce laws to ensure that you can create a stable future.   

Practical Advice 

With more women working full time, and some out-earning their spouses, the financial imperative to stay together no longer exists in many marriages. Also, if a middle-aged couple had children together, the children are usually out of the house at college or living on their own, so there is no need to remain married “for the kids’ sake.” If you are considering filing for divorce, the following tips can help ensure a smooth process regardless of your age:

  • Seek professional legal counsel. 

  • Elite Lawyer
  • American Bar Association
  • Better Business Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • West Suburban Bar Association
  • Northwest Suburban Bar Association
  • Will County Bar Association
  • DuPage County Bar Association
  • Lake County Bar Association
  • Kane County Bar Association




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