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Proving a spouse dissipated assets during divorce

Divorces are never easy, especially when one spouse has been careless with money. Recovering dissipated assets adds an extra burden to an already stressful situation. However, proving dissipation in Illinois is not an insurmountable task.

Understanding dissipation

To understand dissipation, it is important to know what it entails. In Illinois, dissipation of assets refers to using the marital property for the sole benefit of one spouse unrelated to the marriage. Marital property includes assets acquired after the marriage, such as cash and real estate. It must have occurred during an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage to prove dissipation. Here are some behaviors that may constitute the dissipation of assets:

  • Extravagant spending unrelated to marriage
  • Hidden assets and income
  • Gambling
  • Using marital funds to support an affair
  • Engaging in irresponsible business practices
  • Excessive debt incurrence
  • Intentionally damaging or destroying marital assets
  • Excessive legal fees during the divorce proceedings

Figuring out this breakdown can be challenging. Proving dissipation requires evidence and specific circumstances that demonstrate the wasteful or intentional behavior and its impact on the marital estate. Consulting with a divorce attorney can provide further guidance in understanding and substantiating these behaviors.

Filing a claim

If you want to file a dissipation claim, there are specific requirements to follow. You must file the claim at least 60 days before the divorce trial begins or 30 days after the discovery period ends, whichever is later. You also need to provide specific dates when the marriage began to break down and evidence of the dissipation and when it occurred. If you were unaware of the dissipation, you could claim it for up to five years. The spouse responsible for the dissipation may be needed to forfeit significant assets to compensate for the loss.

While proving the dissipation of assets in an Illinois divorce can be challenging, it is possible with the right legal support. Taking action can increase your chances of recovering the dissipated assets. It will allow you to achieve a fair resolution in your divorce proceedings.

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