The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Batavia-divorce-lawyer1.jpg-min1.jpgThe legal concept of “dissipation” refers to wasteful spending that takes place near the end of a couple’s marriage. When Illinois couples divorce, their marital estate is divided according to equitable distribution. When one spouse’s wasteful or reckless spending decreases the value of the marital estate prior to divorce, a dissipation claim can help the other spouse regain the value of the lost or wasted property. Many types of irresponsible spending can be considered dissipative, including a spouse who spends money on an addiction or substance abuse problem. Read on to learn about when a spouse’s addiction can contribute to dissipation and what to do if you wish to file a dissipation claim.

Defining Dissipation in Illinois Law

Illinois statutes and case law define dissipation as the use of marital assets “for the sole benefit of one of the spouses for a purpose unrelated to the marriage” when the marriage is nearing divorce. Put another way, dissipative spending occurs when a spouse who is getting divorced uses marital funds or property in a way that only benefits him or her. The reckless spending must take place when the marriage is undergoing an “irretrievable breakdown” in order to meet the legal definition of dissipation. Generally, a marriage is considered to be undergoing a breakdown when the couple is no longer attempting to work out their issues or salvage the marriage.

Dissipative Spending Can Include Funds Lost to an Addiction

There are many types of irresponsible spending that can constitute dissipation. Money spent by a spouse on gifts for a secret lover may be considered dissipative. Funds spent on a gambling addiction or compulsive shopping problem may also be an example of dissipation. Substance abuse and alcoholism can also fall under this definition. If you bring a claim of dissipation against your spouse, you must file a notice with the court identifying the following information:

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Dupage County asset dissipation lawyerIn a perfect world, couples who decide to end their marriage would do so amicably and without any ill feelings. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world, and divorcing couples are often much less than amicable. In some divorces, feelings of anger, resentment, greed, and spite are driving factors in decisions made by one or both spouses. In cases such as these, it is not uncommon for one spouse to do anything he or she can to keep the other spouse from receiving his or her fair share of the marital estate. The most common way of doing this is to waste the marital assets, also known as “dissipation.”

How Is Dissipation Defined in Illinois?

According to the Illinois Supreme Court, dissipation refers to the “use of marital property for the sole benefit of one of the spouses for a purpose unrelated to the marriage at a time the marriage is undergoing an irretrievable breakdown.” In other words, dissipation occurs when one spouse wastes, destroys, or spends marital property during the breakdown of the marriage for the purpose of depriving the other spouse of the property.

Examples of dissipation of marital property can include:

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Illinois child support attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,Even after a divorce is final, custody agreements are settled and support payments ordered, the adults and children who lived through the experience can still live through periods of uncertainty. This is especially true if a custodial parent stops receiving the child support payments they count on for monthly expenses related to raising their children.

Illinois Laws Push for Payment

For years custodial parents felt they had no recourse if their ex-spouse suddenly stopped or refused paying agreed upon monthly child support payments. To help custodial parents pursue that money, and encourage continued payment, the state of Illinois enacted a series of enforcement programs. These laws apply to both deadbeat dads and moms:
  • Income Withholding: All Illinois employers are required to file a report of all new hires with the state. Reports are shared with the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, and Orders to Withhold Income for Child Support are submitted to the employer if it is found that a  new employee is delinquent in their child support payments.
  • Drivers License Suspension: The Illinois Secretary of State’s office can suspend the driver’s license of anyone who is more than 90 days late in child support payments.
  • Jail Time: If a judge finds the non-custodial parent is intentionally withholding child support payments they can be found in contempt of court and ordered to make the payment. If they fail to comply with the judge’s order, they can be sent to jail.
  • Publication of Debt: Delinquent child support payments can be added to a non-custodial parent’s credit report, making it difficult to buy a car, secure a loan or conduct other financial transactions.
  • As of 1997, custodial parents have up to 20 years after their child’s 18th birthday to pursue and collect past due child support payments.
Non-custodial parents long felt that the division of expenses was unfair, and placed on them a larger burden of the cost of raising children after a divorce. A new Illinois law that went into effect this past July now takes a broader look at all income sources of both parents in an effort to create a more equitable child support plan.

Pursue Owed Monies with Help of an Experienced Aurora Child Support Lawyer

It is important to know that there are steps you can take if your ex-spouse is delinquent in their payments of court-ordered child support. By working with a knowledgeable and aggressive Illinois divorce and child support attorney, you can pursue the payments due you and your children. Contact the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. to schedule an initial consultation and discuss your options.

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Will separate bank accounts create a happier marriage and prevent divorce, divorce, divorce finances, martial assets, bank accountsOne of the most common reasons for divorce, along with cheating, is financial issues. Studies show that couples who argue about money are more likely to split.

Although the number of married couples opening separate bank accounts is increasing (a TD Bank survey shows that 42 percent of couples have both individual and joint bank accounts), it remains taboo for spouses to maintain individual bank accounts.

However, there are several reasons that married couples should go against the grain and opt for separate bank accounts:

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prenuptial agreement, DuPage County family law attorneyA prenuptial agreement is a legal contract developed and signed by a couple before they get married. A prenuptial agreement, or “prenup,” can delineate how financial assets and property will be divided in the event that the couple divorces in the future. It is important to understand that a couple cannot use a prenuptial agreement to make determinations about future custody of or child support for children the couple has together.

Benefits of Prenuptial Agreements

There are a number of potential benefits to developing a prenuptial agreement. For example, a prenuptial agreement can be used to:

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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