location 166 W. Washington St., Ste. 400, Chicago, IL 60602
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George Skuros
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phone 312-884-1222

Chicago Dissipation of Marital Assets Lawyer

North Shore dissipation of assets attorney

Attorney for Wasteful Spending, Use, and Destruction of Marital Property in Cook County and Surrounding Areas

When a marriage fails, it can sometimes lead to irresponsible, destructive, and even malicious behavior on the part of a spouse. In many cases, the other spouse's property and finances become a target or casualty of this behavior. Harming the other spouse's interest in marital property is known legally as the dissipation of marital assets, and it can seriously complicate the divorce process.

If you know or suspect that your spouse has been dissipating assets, it is important to hire an attorney to help you investigate the situation and protect your interests in the division of marital property. At The Law Office of George J. Skuros, we have over 30 years of experience with divorce cases, including those involving asset dissipation, and we will work to ensure that you are treated fairly and that you have the opportunity to hold your spouse accountable.

When Do I Have a Valid Claim of Asset Dissipation?

Disagreements between spouses over the use of marital property are common in many marriages, but in order for behavior to qualify as dissipating assets, important criteria must be met. First, dissipation can only happen after a marriage has already started to undergo an "irretrievable breakdown." When exactly this breakdown begins may be difficult to pinpoint, but it is important to know that in most cases, it is not possible to claim dissipation for behavior throughout the entire marriage. Illinois law also puts a specific time limit on dissipation claims, requiring that they be made within five years of the behavior in question and within three years of the date when the other spouse knew or should have known about it.

The other important qualifier for dissipation is that the marital assets must have been used for a purpose that did not benefit both spouses. For example, if your spouse made a purchase that you feel was irresponsible, but you had access to and use of the property that was purchased, it will likely be difficult to claim the purchase as an example of dissipation.

Provided that these criteria are met, a variety of behaviors can qualify as the dissipation of marital assets, including:

  • Spending marital funds on an item or trip solely for oneself
  • Using marital assets to buy things for a person with whom a spouse is having an extramarital affair
  • Transferring marital assets to a hidden account or an account belonging to someone else
  • Gambling away marital assets
  • Destroying marital property, or intentionally or negligently allowing it to deteriorate

Claiming Dissipation During the Illinois Divorce Process

You may have evidence of your spouse's dissipation of assets before filing for divorce, or you may uncover it with the help of your attorney during the discovery period of the divorce process. To ensure that the dissipation is addressed in the division of marital property, you will need to file a claim no later than 30 days after the end of discovery or 60 days before your scheduled trial date. With your claim, you must specify when your marriage began to break down, when the alleged dissipation happened, and what assets were affected. We can help you gather evidence to support your claim before the court.

If the court determines that dissipation has occurred, this is one of the factors that will be considered when equitably distributing marital assets between you and your spouse. Often, the court will order a spouse who has dissipated marital property to reimburse the other spouse for their fair share.

Contact a Mount Prospect Asset Dissipation Attorney

We can help you investigate your suspicions of asset dissipation, defend you against your spouse's allegations, and protect your property interests throughout your divorce. Contact us today for a free consultation by calling 312-884-1222. We represent clients in Mount Prospect, Arlington Heights, Des Plaines, Park Ridge, Schaumburg, Inverness, Chicago, the North Shore, and throughout Cook County and surrounding areas.

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