Wheaton Asset Dissipation Attorney

Winfield dissipation of marital assets attorneys

Lawyers For Financial Contribution and Dissipation Before and During Divorce in DuPage County

Getting a divorce often involves various complex financial issues. Marital assets and debts must be divided fairly between spouses, but determining how to do so can be challenging, even when spouses are completely open and honest with each other about what they own, what they earn, and how much they owe. Things can become even more complicated when one spouse takes malicious actions meant to waste or dissipate the finances or property of the other spouse or the family, or when a spouse believes they should be reimbursed for contributions they made toward the marriage. In these cases, working with a lawyer who is skilled in resolving financial disputes can ensure that these matters will be handled correctly.

At McSwain Nagle & Giese, P.C., we understand the financial issues involved in divorce cases. With more than 65 combined years of family law experience, we have assisted many spouses in addressing these matters and achieving results that protect their financial interests. We will help you identify any wrongdoing by your spouse, and we will make sure you receive the fair share of the marital estate.

Asset Dissipation

The dissipation of marital assets occurs when a spouse uses marital assets or property for non-marital purposes. This can include selfish uses of marital funds, such as making high-value purchases solely for one's own benefit or spending money on a drug or gambling addiction. Dissipation may also involve infidelity, such as spending money on an expensive vacation to pursue an extramarital affair or purchasing jewelry or gifts for a significant other. A spouse may even intentionally waste or destroy property in an attempt to cause financial harm to the other spouse or the family. Most commonly, this is seen with those who own marital businesses in an effort to devalue the business or defraud their spouse.

Notably, dissipation can only occur during or after the point where a marriage has broken down irretrievably, and it is limited in time frame. If a spouse purchased an expensive watch or jewelry for themselves 10 years before the couple began experiencing marital problems, this would not be considered dissipation.

Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/503), a person can make a dissipation claim during the pendency of the case and ask that their spouse be required to reimburse the marital estate for the assets that were dissipated. This type of claim must be made no later than 60 days before divorce litigation begins or 30 days after the end of discovery, and it must identify the property that was dissipated, the dates or time period when the dissipation occurred, and the date or time period when the marriage began to irretrievably break down. A spouse cannot make a claim for dissipation that occurred more than three years before the dissipation was discovered, or more than five years before the filing of a divorce petition. Dissipation is not necessarily a dollar for dollar reimbursement, and the court has discretion to decide how to make the wronged spouse whole.

Financial Contribution

Another financial issue that can arise during divorce may involve a spouse's claim that they should be repaid for money or property they put into the marriage from assets they had prior to the marriage or are otherwise excluded from the definition of marital assets. This is known as "financial contribution," and it is the opposite of dissipation since it involves the use of non-marital assets for marital purposes. For example, a spouse may have put a down payment on a marital home from funds they received from the sale of a non-marital home. In these cases, a spouse may be entitled to reimbursement for their contributions to the marital estate.

Contact Our Warrenville Property Division Lawyers

A fair and equitable division of marital property can help you ensure that you will be able to maintain financial stability as you move on to the next phase of your life. If you need to address property that has been wasted or destroyed by your spouse, or if you believe that you should be reimbursed for your financial contributions toward your marriage, our attorneys can advocate on your behalf and help you resolve these matters effectively. Contact our office at 630-407-1200 to arrange a free consultation today. We assist with complex and high conflict divorce cases in Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Winfield, Warrenville, Glendale Heights, Carol Stream, Naperville, and throughout DuPage, Kane, Will, Cook, and Kendall Counties.

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