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IL divorce lawyerIn contested divorces, it is not uncommon to have disagreements about marital finances. In many divorces - and even marriages - finances are a point of contention because of their importance. It is also not uncommon for either spouse to become angry at the other, which can cause them to do things to attempt to sabotage the other partner. Many times, an angry soon-to-be-ex-spouse can make hasty and often irresponsible financial decisions during the divorce in an effort to prevent the other spouse from even having a chance at being able to have those assets. In Illinois, this is called “dissipation” in many circumstances. Dissipation can be frustrating to the affected spouse, but thankfully a successful dissipation claim can help make sure that your fair share of the marital assets are preserved.

What Is Considered Asset Dissipation?

Asset dissipation refers to the use of marital assets by a spouse during an “irreconcilable breakdown” of the marriage for their sole benefit. To qualify as asset dissipation, you must be able to prove that the assets were indeed used in a way that benefitted your spouse only and that your spouse wasted or destroyed those assets intentionally, as a way to prevent those assets from being included in the marital estate. Examples of asset dissipation can include using marital funds for:

  • Paying for a drug or alcohol addiction
  • Supporting a gambling issue
  • Gifting or doting upon an extramarital lover
  • Unusual or excessive purchases that are not warranted, such as purchasing a new car

Asset Dissipation Process

If you plan to claim that your spouse dissipated certain assets to prevent you from receiving the value of those assets, there are certain things that must be in place before the court accepts your claim. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), you must notify your spouse no later than 60 days prior to the trial that you intend to claim they dissipated marital assets. In that notice, you must include when you and your spouse started to experience an “irretrievable breakdown,” what assets you are claiming that your spouse dissipated and the date or range of time during which the dissipation occurred.

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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.

630-575-8585

2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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