You and your spouse have worked hard to accumulate valuable assets and build the marital standard of living you enjoy today. It does not matter whether one took on the role of homemaker while the other pursued a rewarding career or you have a dual-income household. All the wealth you earned together throughout your marriage is subject to an equitable distribution when you file for divorce in Illinois.
Your spouse might be aware of the equitable distribution and attempt to waste, deplete or hide assets to get more or give you less from the marriage before finalizing the divorce. They may be intentionally dissipating your marital property.
The dissipation of marital assets in an Illinois divorce
Dissipation occurs when one spouse uses marital property for their sole benefit and for reasons that have nothing to do with their marriage or family while the marriage is undergoing an irretrievable breakdown. The dissipation of assets can take on varying forms. It includes:
- Excessive spending
- Using marital assets for a substance abuse addiction
- Transferring money out of your joint accounts
- Giving away assets
- Failing to pay mortgage payments
- Allowing your business to fail
- Spending marital assets to fund their extramarital affair
They are misusing your wealth without your knowledge or consent. The dissipation of marital assets violates Illinois’s equitable distribution principle. By dissipating assets from your marital estate, your spouse deprives you of your fair share.
What can you do if your spouse is dissipating marital assets?
If you suspect your spouse is dissipating assets, you can file a claim of dissipation. However, you should have evidence to support your claim. You can present financial records, credit card bills, bank statements and other pertinent documents that can substantiate the dissipation. If the court determines your claims are valid and your spouse did, in fact, dissipate marital assets, then they may award you a larger share of the marital estate.