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Defending Against False Dissipation Claims

 Posted on September 19, 2018 in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorneysDespite the inherent difficulties, most couples headed for a divorce are able to maintain a reasonable level of civility and personal responsibility. In some cases, on the other hand, the divorcing parties may be prone to making decisions that can negatively impact the proceedings. From a financial perspective, this may include wasting or dissipating marital assets, either out of spite or due to an attitude of apathy regarding the situation. Sadly, however, the emotional nature of divorce may also lead to accusations that are unfounded, so if your spouse has filed a groundless claim for dissipation, you will need to know how to protect yourself.

What is Dissipation?

Dissipation, according to the law, is the wasting or inappropriate spending of a marital asset during or subsequent to the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage. The problem with dissipating assets is that doing so can directly impact many of the financial considerations of the divorce process. Spousal maintenance, property distribution, and child support are all dependent upon the assets, resources, and income of the interested parties. Wasted assets are, if not addressed and repaid, may not be taken into account as required, potentially tainting the outcome.

Timing is Important

When your spouse has accused you of dissipation, he or she will need to show that the spending in question occurred after the marriage had begun to break down. Economic irresponsibility may be a problem in many marriages, but if it occurs before the relationship actually begins breaking down, it is not considered dissipation. Therefore, you may be able to successfully dispute the claim that your marriage was beyond repair at the time of the alleged dissipation.

Marital Purposes

The other primary defense against a claim for dissipation is that the asset was used for a purpose that benefitted the marriage. For example, if you used marital money to pay down a jointly-owed debt, even against your spouse’s wishes, a dissipation claim would likely not be appropriate. By paying down debts using marital assets, there is no net change in the value of the marital estate, so the overall effect on your divorce process would be negligible.

Legal Representation for Claims of Dissipation

If you are going through a divorce and your spouse has accused you of dissipating assets, contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. The team at Pesce Law Group is proud to help clients throughout the region find favorable resolutions to their divorce concerns. Call 630-352-2240 to schedule a free consultation today.



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