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My Spouse Has Been Recklessly Spending Money Before Our Divorce

 Posted on June 03, 2022 in Uncategorized

north shore divorce lawyerMoney and financial disagreements are common causes of marital discord. It is natural for these disagreements to carry over even once a divorce is inevitable. However, until the divorce decree is final, both spouses must refrain from frivolous spending that only benefits themselves and negatively impacts the joint marital assets that are to be equitably divided. You may have found out that your spouse bought an expensive new car or took a trip with the person they have been having an extramarital affair with. This type of wasteful spending is known as dissipation, and it can have repercussions during the divorce process.

Impact of Dissipation on a Divorce in Illinois

For wasteful spending to be considered dissipation, it must have occurred after the marriage has undergone an “irretrievable breakdown.” Illinois law limits claims to spending which occurred five years before the claim is made and three years from when the other spouse found out about the spending.

Dissipation occurs when money is used or spent in a way that only benefits one of the spouses. If it is a purchase that you disagree with but which is generally for the benefit of the family, it is unlikely to be ruled as dissipation of marital assets. Behaviors that can qualify as dissipation include:

  • Spending the money on gifts, trips, or meals for an adulterous partner

  • Spending the money on purchases for themselves or solo travel

  • Hiding marital assets by transferring the funds to a hidden account or someone else

  • Intentionally destroying or neglecting marital property or allowing the property or asset to deteriorate

  • Recklessly gambling marital funds

We can help you build your claim, including establishing when the marriage underwent an irretrievable breakdown, when the funds were spent, and how the spending impacted the marital assets. The claim must be made 30 days before the end of the discovery period of the divorce process or 60 before the trial date is scheduled. If the court agrees that dissipation occurred, it will be considered when the marital assets are distributed. Your spouse may be ordered to reimburse you your fair share of the dissipated amount.

Contact a North Shore Dissipation Attorney

For your questions about dissipation or any other divorce-related matters, contact the Park Ridge divorce attorneys at The Law Office of George J. Skuros. We will make sure that you get your equitable share of marital assets and can help investigate your claims of dissipation. For a free consultation, contact our office at 312-884-1222 today.



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