How Do I Know if My Spouse Has Dissipated Marital Assets?

 Posted on May 05, 2020 in Divorce

Wheaton property division lawyer for asset dissipationAccording to Illinois law, dissipation of marital assets is defined as the use of marital property or assets to solely benefit one spouse for a purpose unrelated to the marriage when the marriage is in the midst of an irreconcilable breakdown. As a marriage undergoes difficult times—and as divorce becomes more and more likely—one or both of the spouses might begin deviating from their usual spending patterns. They might spend marital funds irresponsibly, neglect to pay bills, or enter into major financial agreements, among other things, all without the other spouse’s consent. This could affect the fair and equitable division of marital property during the couple’s divorce.

Common Examples of Marital Asset Dissipation

In order to safeguard yourself against possible marital asset dissipation, it is important to know all the different ways your spouse might be dissipating assets so that you can more readily spot them when you suspect impropriety. There are many ways a spouse could improperly dissipate marital assets, including:

  • Gambling

  • Intentionally neglecting to pay the mortgage

  • Giving unexpected and substantial sums of money to other family members

  • Deliberately making a family business less profitable

  • Buying or co-signing on a vehicle, home, or other large financial transactions for relatives or themselves without the other spouse’s consent

  • Engaging in major, expensive travel without the other spouse’s consent

  • Failing to pay taxes

  • Contributing unusual, unexpected sums of money to churches or other charities

  • Using marital funds for anything related to a relationship with a different romantic partner

  • Creating a trust or other account for the children’s education without the other spouse’s consent

What Is Not Considered Marital Asset Dissipation

Despite those many examples of marital asset dissipation, there are other ways couples may use money that are usually excluded from being considered dissipation. The types of spending that are not considered dissipation include:

  • Typical living expenses

  • Continued spending similar to that of spending prior to when problems in the marriage first surfaced

  • Any purchases for which both spouses have provided consent

  • Family vacations

  • Payment of usual family expenses from joint accounts

  • Payment of income taxes

  • Payments to friends or family members that were also being made prior to any marital conflicts

  • Any other financial decisions or transactions that the other spouse does not object to

Contact a Wheaton, IL Marital Asset Dissipation Attorney

Dissipation of assets is much more common than you might think, especially when the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage occurs, and the divorce process begins. Things can get heated, and many spouses become spiteful, resulting in irresponsible financial decisions. If you suspect this could be an issue in your marriage, contact our DuPage County divorce lawyers at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation. The adept team at Andrew Cores Family Law Group will give you the advice and representation you need to help ensure you receive a fair divorce settlement.


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