Illinois is an equitable distribution state. This means that the marital estate is divided in a just and fair manner based on several factors. One of these factors is the dissipation of marital assets by a spouse.
However, most people are unaware of what it means or how it could affect their share of marital assets. As a result, many people get the short end of the stick during the property division process.
Here is what you need to know
When a marriage is irretrievably broken down, it is not uncommon to see spouses throwing caution to the wind. Perhaps because the end of the marriage is inevitable. Their spending may rack up, unlike before, when they were a bit too frugal. This is where the dissipation of marital assets happens.
Think of it as a wastage or misappropriation of marital assets. It can take many forms. For instance, your spouse may use funds drawn from a joint account to fund a luxury trip or buy gifts for a friend or lover before the divorce is settled. Alternatively, they may make a transaction in bad faith or over your objection simply because the marriage is falling apart.
Given that you have a stake in the monies spent, it is only fair that you get your rightful share. Otherwise, you stand to lose out on your share of the marital assets dissipated by your spouse.
Protecting your financial interests during divorce
A lot can go wrong when dividing marital property, and you could lose out if you are not careful. Therefore, it is best to stay ahead of the situation and get appropriate legal counsel as soon as the divorce is in the offing. That way, you will know what to do to protect your rights and interests.