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

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.

Sources:

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

https://www.isba.org/sites/default/files/cle/Dissipation.pdf

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/#cf39c4c3ec01

 

How Does a Spouse’s Incarceration Affect an Illinois Divorce?

DuPage County Contested Divorce AttorneyIf a spouse is currently in prison, divorce is an important decision that the couple may consider. The complex feelings and consequences of seeing a husband or wife go to prison can be overwhelming. In addition, the couple’s children will find it especially challenging to live without their incarcerated parent. This is why, depending on the situation, divorce might be the best option. There are many other reasons to initiate a divorce under these circumstances, and there are steps to take to ensure a seamless legal proceeding.

Reasons for Divorce During Incarceration

Studies suggest that incarceration increases divorce rates, and even if the inmate is released from prison, the marriage might still be more susceptible to divorce long thereafter. In fact, for every year a spouse is in prison, the likelihood of divorce during or after imprisonment increased by about 32 percent. There are many reasons for a divorce between one spouse and an incarcerated spouse, including:

  • Estrangement

  • Feelings of loneliness

  • Lack of intimacy

  • Financial problems

  • Child support issues

Reasons for Divorce After Incarceration

It might be easy to assume that once the incarcerated spouse is released from prison and back at home, the dynamics of the marriage and family will return to the way they were prior to incarceration. However, the truth is that the transition is often much more complicated than that. Even if the incarcerated spouse is released from prison, there are still greater odds of divorce resulting from the time spent locked up. Criminologists have researched the effects of incarceration on marriages and have found that even after being released from prison, the formerly incarcerated spouse and his/her spouse might exhibit the following characteristics:

  • More violent behavior

  • Less loving qualities

  • Extramarital affairs

Combine the above traits with many of the same issues faced during incarceration that persist even after imprisonment, and divorce becomes a likely outcome for many of these couples.

Legal Process for Divorce When One Spouse Is Incarcerated

Overall, the legal process for divorce when one spouse is incarcerated is not much different from the usual divorce process. In many cases, the two spouses agree to have an uncontested divorce, since this is the quickest, easiest, and most affordable option. In situations where a divorce is contested by one or both spouses, the process will be more challenging. Funds are limited, making it difficult for one or both spouses to afford a lawyer, and the imprisonment makes appearing in court problematic. Thankfully, some courtrooms in Illinois have agreed to allow proceedings via video.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

Divorce under any circumstances can be a difficult decision to make, but when one of the spouses is serving time in prison, it can be even more challenging. Although it might seem daunting at first, with a knowledgeable and dedicated Wheaton, IL contested divorce attorney providing guidance, you can be prepared to navigate this major life event with ease. If you or your spouse are currently incarcerated, and you have questions about the divorce process under these special circumstances, call our office today at 630-871-1002 for a complimentary consultation.

Sources:

https://www.vox.com/2014/5/29/5756646/every-year-of-a-prison-term-makes-a-couple-32-percent-more-likely-to

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/09/the-difficulty-of-getting-a-divorce-in-prison/538653/

How Do Young Children and Adolescents Handle Their Parents’ Divorce?

DuPage County child custody lawyerWhether heated debates over parenting time or disagreements about marital debts add fuel to an already stressful home environment, children caught in the middle of a divorce have plenty to contend with. Even if divorcing parents attempt to protect their children from conflict, the divorce process can be emotionally turbulent for them. Experts tell us that parental divorce has a significant impact on children of all ages, although younger children tend to process and react to the separation differently than older adolescents. These variations in behavioral changes can be alarming for parents, who themselves are feeling the emotional effects of such a big life change.

Behavioral Changes to Expect from Your Teen or Little One

As a concerned parent undergoing a divorce, it helps to identify the types of behavioral changes you can expect from your adolescent or younger child and to be aware that each child’s response may differ greatly. This is normal, as it typically reflects the child’s perspective on the split. That point of view shapes his or her response and his or her attitude about the situation. Here are a few examples of what to expect and how reactions can differ from one age group to the next:

  • Defiance – Teens tend to react against their parents in the face of divorce. As adolescents, they are already working to develop independence, hence the common tendency to distance themselves and turn to friends for support instead of to Mom or Dad. This desire for self-sufficiency often becomes amplified during divorce, sometimes resulting in rebellion and the belief that if parents do not care about them, then they must look after themselves.

  • Regressive behavior – Younger children, such as those between the ages of 6 and 12, may act regressively, in contrast to aggressive teen behavior. Since they are already dependent on their parents for love, safety, comfort, and support, that dependency can become intensified, can cause them to become more needy and anxious. Additionally, this age group tends to take longer to adjust to divorce than teenagers. Younger children may imagine that their parents will get back together, and they may even feel they are responsible for both the split and potential reconciliation. Adolescents tend to accept the reality of their parents’ separation sooner and, at times, with greater ease.

  • Acting out in school – Teens and young children alike will likely display their feelings about the separation at school. It is not uncommon for younger children to act more disruptive or disobedient in the classroom. Teens may withdraw, show signs of aggression, or rebel against authority figures. Teachers may observe preteens “zoning out” instead of completing schoolwork or participating in class discussions.

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

At the Andrew Cores Family Law Group, we understand that divorce can be difficult for the whole family. Our attorneys can help you address the conflicts that may be adding stress to your divorce experience so that you and your children can focus on processing, healing, and moving forward with the next chapter in your lives. Contact our qualified Wheaton, IL divorce lawyers today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/surviving-your-childs-adolescence/201112/the-impact-divorce-young-children-and-adolescents

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-impact-of-divorce-on-children-of-different-ages_b_6820636?ir=Parents&utm_hp_ref=parents