Not all divorces are amicable. Sometimes, a divorce is very one-sided, meaning one spouse wants to get divorced while the other does not. Other times, both spouses agree that they want to get divorced, but they have ill feelings toward each other. In situations like this, a spouse may try to do whatever they can to hurt their former partner in any way. Sometimes, this manifests as keeping their spouse from receiving a fair share of the marital property. One common way this is done is by wasting marital assets, which is referred to as “dissipation.”
What Is Dissipation?
The Illinois Supreme Court defines dissipation as the “use of marital property for the sole benefit of one of the spouses for a purpose unrelated to the marriage at a time the marriage is undergoing an irretrievable breakdown.” This basically means that a spouse dissipates assets if they intend to deprive the other spouse of certain marital property by spending, destroying, or otherwise wasting marital property during a period in which the marriage was falling apart or during the divorce.
Asset dissipation can occur in various ways. Examples of asset dissipation can include:
Withdrawing large amounts of cash from checking or savings accounts
Spending funds on an extramarital relationship
Making major and/or unusual purchases
Losing money through gambling
Failing to make mortgage payments or car payments
Defacing or ruining marital property
Steps to Take if Asset Dissipation Has Occurred
Some divorcees can suffer when their spouse decides to dissipate assets. In cases where a spouse stayed home to take care of the children and the household duties, that spouse may depend on their share of the marital estate to support themselves when they get divorced. If you believe your ex-spouse has dissipated any marital property, you can ask the court for help.
To declare dissipation in your Illinois divorce case, you must give notice to the court that you intend to claim dissipation at least 60 days before the beginning of your divorce trial or 30 days after the close of the discovery process, whichever occurs later. After you provide the judge with the date your marriage began to experience an irreversible breakdown, information about the assets dissipated by your ex-spouse, and the date or time when the dissipation took place, he or she can begin to determine how to address the dissipation when making decisions made about asset division.
Get in Touch With a Will County Asset Dissipation Attorney Right Away
Emotions aside, when a spouse dissipates your marital property, these actions can cause you significant financial harm. As long as you notify the court of the dissipation, you should be able to recover most if not all of your fair share of the marital estate. Hiring a skilled Mokena, IL divorce lawyer can be extremely beneficial in situations such as these. At Wakenight & Associates, P.C., our attorneys can help you prove to the court that your spouse wasted a portion of the assets that rightfully belong to you, and we can also help make sure you get your fair share of the estate. Contact us today at 815-727-6144 to schedule a free consultation.