Divorce is already a complex and emotionally draining process, and this is especially true for someone whose spouse is frivolously spending the couple’s money before the divorce is finalized. Once that money is spent, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to get back.
In order to understand the legal remedies for victims whose spouses are recklessly spending marital money, or “dissipating marital assets”, it is important to understand what counts as dissipation of marital assets. Keep in mind that the best way to obtain a favorable outcome in cases involving dissipation is to hire an experienced divorce attorney.
What Is Dissipation of Marital Assets?
Spending by one spouse is likely to be considered dissipation if the spouse uses marital assets to buy things that:
- Only benefit them, rather than both spouses
- Are unrelated to the marriage
- Are purchased during the time when the relationship has irreconcilably broken down
For example, if a couple is getting divorced and one spouse begins withdrawing or transferring large amounts of money and is secretive about it or unable to come up with that money when asked, it will likely be considered dissipation. Likewise, a spouse who begins excessively gambling and losing money could be held responsible for dissipation.
One of the most common forms of dissipative behavior occurs when a spouse is still married, takes on a new partner, and begins to buy them expensive gifts and treat them to dinners and vacations. Fortunately, there is a legal resource for victims of this kind of behavior.
Will I Ever Get Dissipated Money Back?
During the asset division process, Illinois courts distribute assets equitably. This means that the focus is on providing a division that is fair, rather than exactly equal. A spouse who is found to have dissipated marital assets will lose the equivalent value of those assets in the property division process. So if a man dissipated $10,000 on his new girlfriend, the wife will be awarded the equivalent of $10,000 in money or other assets during the asset division.
Dissipation claims must be backed up by evidence in order for the court to find that dissipation occurred. Proving dissipation can be time-consuming and difficult. Details about when the dissipation took place and how much money was spent are necessary, and spouses may want to hire a forensic accountant to assist them with hunting down evidence.
Hire a Wheaton, IL Divorce Attorney
Finding out that a spouse may have dissipated marital assets can be frustrating and even frightening, but there are options available to victims of dissipative behavior. That is where a skilled DuPage County divorce attorney with Andrew Cores Family Law Group can help. Find out your options under Illinois law by scheduling a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. Call us today at 630-871-1002.