In an Illinois divorce, spouses need to split their property or ask a judge to divide their assets. The equitable distribution rule that applies in litigated divorces requires that a judge split your property and debts in a fair manner based on your current circumstances. Your health, the length of your marriage and even financial misconduct can influence how the courts split your property.
In cases of provable dissipation by one spouse, the other could ask for compensation for that misconduct. What kinds of behaviors might be dissipation of your marital assets?
Spending for selfish purposes right before or after filing
A pattern of spending consistent with someone’s behavior during the marriage would not likely constitute dissipation.
However, if someone starts spending far more than usual and for frivolous, selfish reasons, their four-figures spa day or name-brand shopping spree might constitute marital dissipation. Any wasteful spending that benefits an individual and not the family might constitute dissipation.
Choosing to give away marital assets
One spouse could deprive the other of valuable property by giving those assets to their family members, friends or co-workers. They might do this with the intention of getting that property back after the divorce or just out of spite to reduce how much they have to share.
In either case, the courts can hold someone accountable for gifts and the sale of assets from the marital estate if the price received did not reflect the fair market value for those assets.
Money spent on extramarital affairs
If one spouse can show that the other spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on restaurants, hotel rooms or gifts while conducting an affair, that spending could all be dissipation. Those amounts can impact how the courts divide your other belongings and debts.
Figuring out how your spouse’s wasteful spending has affected your marital estate can lead to a better property division outcome in your divorce.