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Can I File a Dissipation of Assets Claim for Money Lost to Substance Abuse?

 Posted on December 09, 2022 in Property Division

Wheaton, IL dissipation of assets attorneyFew people know how challenging and complex the financial side of a divorce truly is. There are so many financial considerations that need to be made when a divorce is taking place. If the divorcing parties have children, which parent will pay child support? Or how will the distribution of marital property be handled? All of these financial questions and more arise when going through a divorce.

During divorce proceedings, an incredibly challenging subject and often an area of contention is whether each spouse is truthful regarding financial information. The situation can become even more complicated if one spouse acts in a way that causes financial harm to the other. For example, suppose you are getting a divorce and believe your spouse is recklessly indulging themselves in expenditures unrelated to the marriage, like using money to fuel a gambling or drug addiction. In that case, you may be able to file for a dissipation of assets claim. To understand how to proceed while ensuring your rights and best interests are protected, contact an experienced divorce attorney who has worked with cases where the dissipation of assets was a factor during divorce proceedings.

What Constitutes a Dissipation of Assets? 

All assets acquired by either spouse during a marriage are referred to as the marital estate. During a divorce, couples must split up the marital estate equitably. Unfortunately, there are certain cases where the reckless actions of a spouse led to a drop in the value of the marital estate. In some instances, these reckless actions may constitute dissipation of assets. If a spouse behaves in such a manner, the other spouse should bring these matters to the court's attention to ensure that the marital estate is divided appropriately. Asset dissipation can look like a lot of different behaviors, including the following: 

  • Spending spousal funds for purposes unrelated to marriage – This refers to when a spouse uses marital money to buy items for themselves or someone else. For example, this form of asset dissipation may occur if one spouse engages in an affair and buys things related to their affair. 

  • Abusing marital assets – This refers to when a spouse wastes marital assets in a way that reduces the value of the marital estate. This may involve using marital assets to fuel a drug or gambling addiction, destroying marital property, or making extravagant purchases. 

It is important to note that according to Illinois law, something can be a dissipation of assets only once the marriage has begun to break down. If a spouse made a large purchase for themselves before the marriage started to break down, this is not a dissipation of assets. The law in Illinois also states that an asset dissipation claim can only be made within three years of when the spouse found out or should have found out the other spouse was engaging in the dissipation of assets.  

Contact a DuPage County Divorce and Dissipation of Assets Attorney

If you are getting divorced and believe your spouse has dissipated marital assets, do not hesitate to contact the experienced Wheaton, IL divorce and dissipation of assets lawyers at The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.. Call 630-462-9500 today for a complete consultation.

Source: https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k503.htm

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