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Kane County Dissipation of Assets Lawyers

Kane County Dissipation of Assets Lawyer

St. Charles Divorce Lawyers Assist With Claims of Wasteful Spending of Marital Assets

An unfaithful, foolish, or vengeful spouse may be accused of dissipation of assets, meaning wasteful spending or squandering of assets. If you believe your spouse has done this, or if your spouse has accused you of doing it, you need an attorney who can help you document what has happened and ensure that this is properly accounted for in your divorce settlement.

At Weiler & Associates, Inc., we understand that divorces often involve uncomfortable issues such as infidelity, addictions, and mental health disorders. These issues can result in profligate spending on extramarital relationships, gambling, or alcohol/drug use. Dissipation of assets can also take the form of giving away valuables or failing to pay bills. As your divorce attorneys, we are prepared to investigate any concerns about dissipation of assets as part of the financial discovery process.

Definition of Dissipation of Assets

The term "dissipation of assets" refers to a use of marital property for a purpose unrelated to the marriage that occurs after the marriage has begun an "irretrievable breakdown."

For example, you could claim dissipation if your spouse has used money from a marital-property checking account to rent an apartment, take extravagant trips, or buy expensive jewelry for their personal benefit, or if they lose a significant amount of marital money through gambling without your knowledge or consent. You may also claim dissipation if your spouse has given away money or assets to another person, such as a friend or relative of theirs, in an attempt to reduce your share of marital property.

On the other hand, if your spouse buys a luxury car for you or for family use, that would not be considered dissipation.

Illinois Law Governing Dissipation of Assets

Illinois divorce law 750 ILCS 5/503(d)(2) specifies a list of factors that the court should consider when determining the division of marital property "in just proportions." Dissipation of assets is one of these factors, subject to the following requirements:

  • You must serve notice of your intent to claim dissipation within 30 days after discovery closes or 60 days before trial, whichever is later.
  • Your notice must specify the date when the marriage began an "irretrievable breakdown." Wasteful spending before that date does not count as dissipation.
  • You must document the specific marital assets affected and the timeframe in which the dissipation of those assets occurred.
  • You cannot claim dissipation that occurred more than five years prior to your filing for divorce nor more than three years after you learned about the loss.

What Happens If You Claim Dissipation of Assets

If you file a notice to claim dissipation against your spouse, the burden will be on your spouse to defend his or her actions. For example, suppose that you present records showing that your spouse withdrew $25,000 from your joint savings. Your spouse would have to explain what they spent that money on. If it was not for purposes related to your marriage, such as payment of marital debts or necessary medical treatment, that could be considered dissipation.

Your attorney would then negotiate a fair resolution to this issue. If necessary, the matter can be taken to trial; if the court rules in your favor, the court will typically order that the division of property be adjusted for dissipation. In other words, you would be granted your fair share of that $25,000 in the settlement, as if the $25,000 had not been removed from your marital estate.

St. Charles Divorce Lawyers Protecting Your Marital Property Interests

If you suspect your spouse has wastefully reduced your marital estate, thereby reducing the amount of marital assets available to you in the division of marital property, you may be able to claim dissipation of assets and recover some of those assets out of your spouse's share of marital property. Consult the divorce attorneys at Weiler & Associates, Inc. to understand how Illinois law on dissipation of assets may apply to you. Contact us at 630-331-9110. We serve clients in St. Charles, Geneva, and neighboring communities in Kane County.

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