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When Should I Freeze Assets During a Divorce?

 Posted on April 25,2024 in Illinois Divorce

St. Charles, IL asset dissipation lawyerOne of the more complex parts of a divorce proceeding is asset division. In this procedure, your divorce attorney and perhaps an accountant will help categorize certain assets as marital property or nonmarital property, and then negotiate with your spouse about how to divide the marital property. Marital property refers to assets that belong to both spouses and should be divided fairly according to Illinois law.

Sometimes one spouse may feel that the marital assets are in danger of being abused or wasted during the divorce. In that case, he or she may ask the court to freeze the assets by filing a dissipation of assets claim.

What is the Dissipation of Assets?

Dissipation of assets means the marital assets are being squandered. This happens in one of two ways:

  • The assets are being wasted, like if one spouse uses them to fuel a gambling addiction.

  • The assets are being abused in a way that brings down their value.

In general, using marital property for anything but the marriage could be seen by a court as asset dissipation. If you feel your spouse is dissipating assets, you may file a dissipation of assets claim with a court. Keep in mind, however, that if the court feels marital property is being squandered, it will freeze the assets for both parties, not only your spouse.

How Do I File a Dissipation of Assets Claim?

Because courts take asset dissipation seriously, Illinois law requires that your claim satisfy certain criteria:

  • You must file a notice of intent to claim dissipation with the court no later than 60 days before the trial or 30 days after the discovery phase of the trial.

  • The statute of limitations on the dissipation is five years, which means you cannot file a claim for asset dissipation if it happened more than five years ago.

  • You cannot file a claim for dissipation more than three years after you discovered it was happening.

In addition, your claim must include:

  • The asset(s) being dissipated

  • The date that the marriage started breaking down

  • The date(s) of the dissipation

  • The value of the marital property belonging to each spouse

  • The length of the marriage

  • The projected financial situation of each spouse when the assets are divided

  • Any responsibilities or obligations either spouse might have from a previous marriage

  • Custody arrangements for any children involved

Contact a St. Charles, IL Divorce Lawyer

It is not uncommon for a spouse to engage in reckless behavior that endangers marital assets during a divorce. Some spouses may do it out of spite, while others may be struggling with an addiction or trying to secure more money for themselves before it is divided.

If you discover that dissipation is happening, time is of the essence. Reach out to a Kane County, Illinois divorce attorney as soon as possible to discuss whether you should file a dissipation of assets claim. The professional attorneys at Weiler & Associates, Inc. are experienced in complex financial matters in divorce and are ready to fight to preserve your financial legacy. Call 630-331-9110 for a consultation today.

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