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3 Examples of Asset Dissipation That May Affect a Divorce Case

Posted on in Division of Property

St. Charles divorce lawyerThere are multiple types of financial issues that can play a role in a divorce case. Determining how to divide marital property in a way that is fair while providing for the needs of both parties can be complicated enough on its own, but in some cases, additional issues may arise that can make this process even more difficult. Asset dissipation in which one spouse wastes or destroys marital property is one factor that may need to be addressed. A person who believes that their spouse has dissipated assets can work with an attorney to ensure that this issue is dealt with properly during the property division process.

Ways a Spouse May Dissipate Assets

Dissipation of assets involves the use of marital property by one spouse in a way that benefits themselves and is not related to their marriage or family. A valid dissipation claim must show that dissipation occurred while the marriage was undergoing an irretrievable breakdown. Some of the most common ways that a spouse may commit asset dissipation include:

  • Affairs - An extramarital affair definitely falls into the category of activities that are unrelated to a couple’s marriage. When a spouse commits infidelity, they are likely to secretly use marital funds to further their affair. This may include buying gifts for the person they are cheating with, spending money on hotel rooms or trips to other cities, or giving away items that are considered marital property.

  • Addictions - A spouse who struggles with substance abuse may use marital funds to further their addictions. When a person uses illegal drugs or controlled substances, they may end up spending a significant amount of money to support these addictions. A gambling addiction can also cause a spouse to waste a great deal of marital funds.

  • Destruction of property - In some cases, a person may intentionally destroy property in an attempt to harm the other spouse. This may be done out of spite, such as when a person breaks or ruins family keepsakes or items that their spouse has an emotional attachment to. In other cases, a person may intentionally waste money on frivolous items or activities in an attempt to limit the other spouse’s financial resources.

If a spouse has dissipated marital assets, the other spouse may file a dissipation claim to address this issue. A dissipation claim must be made within three years after the spouse making the claim learned about or should have known about the dissipation. Any dissipation that occurred more than five years before a spouse filed a divorce petition cannot be addressed during the divorce process. If the court determines that dissipation occurred, a spouse may be required to reimburse the marital estate for the dissipated assets, or the other spouse may be granted a larger share of the couple’s marital property.

Contact Our Kane County Asset Dissipation Lawyers

If you believe that your spouse has dissipated marital assets, Goostree Law Group can help you determine how to address this issue during your divorce. We will fight to protect your financial interests and ensure that your marital property is divided fairly and equitably. Contact our St. Charles property division attorneys at 630-584-4800 to set up a free consultation.



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