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What Can I Do If My Spouse is Dissipating Marital Assets in Illinois?

Posted on in Divorce

Joliet divorce attorneysThe divorce process is often a time of intense conflict, and unfortunately, it can sometimes bring out a person’s worst behavior. Spouses may attempt to hurt each other out of anger, resentment, frustration, selfishness, or more destructive impulses, and one way of doing so is by dissipating marital property before it can be divided in the divorce. It is important to know that if your spouse is dissipating assets, an attorney can help you hold him or her accountable and achieve a fair outcome.

What Does It Mean to Dissipate Assets?

Broadly speaking, the dissipation of assets occurs when a couple’s marriage has entered a period of irretrievable breakdown, and one of the spouses uses marital assets in a way that has no benefit for the other spouse. In practice, this can take many different forms. For example, a spouse could attempt to transfer marital assets to a private account or to a friend or family member to save for after the divorce. Alternatively, a spouse could spend marital assets for a purpose in their own self-interest; for instance, to buy things for a person with whom they are having an affair. In some cases, a spouse will even destroy or waste marital assets to the benefit of no one.

Asset dissipation may be an intentional strategy to try to damage the other spouse’s financial security or take away a property that the other spouse holds dear. It can also be an act of recklessness or self-destructive behavior. Regardless of the reason for dissipating assets, it is illegal, and it can have a major impact on the outcome of the divorce.

Holding Your Spouse Accountable

The first step in holding your spouse accountable for dissipating assets is recognizing that dissipation has occurred. Sometimes, this behavior is obvious, but you will usually need to pay close attention to your property and finances in the time leading up to your divorce and look for signs that marital property has gone missing. Your attorney can also help you uncover evidence of asset dissipation during the discovery period before your divorce trial.

If you intend to claim dissipation, you will need to file a notice with the court and serve it to your spouse before the trial, and you should be prepared to identify specific property that was dissipated and the dates on which the dissipation occurred. If the judge determines that marital assets were wrongfully used, they can order your spouse to reimburse you for losses as part of the equitable division of marital property.

Contact a Joliet, IL Divorce Attorney

At The Foray Firm, we understand how important it is for you to protect your property during the divorce process. We can help you find evidence of dissipation and present your case in court to prevent your spouse from unfairly influencing the property division process. Contact a Will County divorce lawyer today at 312-702-1293 to learn more about what we can do for you.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k503.htm

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2016/11/01/what-is-dissipation-of-assets-in-divorce-and-what-if-anything-can-you-do-about-it/

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