Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C.
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213, Hillside, IL 60162
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213
Hillside, IL 60162



How to Deal With Intentional Financial Harm During a Divorce

 Posted on May 17, 2024 in Divorce

Oak Park, IL divorce attorneyDivorce can sometimes bring out the worst in people. Due to the strong emotions that spouses might experience due to the breakdown of their marriage, they may lash out at each other in various ways, and in some of these ways, actions taken by one spouse can cause serious harm to the other. 

In some cases, this behavior can affect a spouse financially, and they will need to determine what steps they can take to protect themselves. A skilled family law attorney can provide valuable legal help in these situations, providing guidance on the remedies that may be available to address the dissipation of marital assets.

Ways a Spouse Can Intentionally Cause Financial Harm

Intentional harm during a divorce can manifest itself in various ways, including:

Destroying Property

One spouse may damage or destroy marital property out of spite. They may intentionally destroy items that they know have a sentimental value for the other spouse, or they may damage property such as a vehicle, with the intent of making life more difficult for their former partner.

Wasting Money

Excessive or unusual spending just before or during a divorce proceeding can be a tactic to deplete the marital estate. This may include lavish purchases, gambling, or sudden large gifts to relatives and friends.

Hiding Assets

Sometimes, a spouse may attempt to hide money or property with the intent of limiting the resources available to their former partner. For example, they may transfer money to secret accounts, or physically hide valuable items.

Addressing Wasted or Destroyed Assets Through Dissipation Claims

When a spouse intentionally wastes or misuses marital assets, the other party can seek relief through what is known as an asset dissipation claim. According to rulings by courts in Illinois, asset dissipation occurs when one spouse uses marital assets for his or her sole benefit, and for purposes unrelated to the marriage, at a time when the marriage is undergoing an irreconcilable breakdown. So, if a couple has already begun experiencing difficulties with their relationship, and one spouse takes actions that will reduce the value of the marital estate, this could be considered asset dissipation.

To address the dissipation of marital assets, a spouse can do the following:

Documenting the Dissipation

This may involve gathering financial records, receipts, and any other evidence that can demonstrate unusual financial activity. This evidence can show that marital funds were used for one spouse’s sole benefit after the marriage began to break down.

Legal Representation

A skilled divorce attorney can help establish that dissipation occurred. They can ensure that the proper requirements are met to make asset dissipation claims, and they can calculate the extent of the financial harm that has occurred because of a spouse’s actions.

Court Remedies

Asset dissipation claims made during the property division process in a divorce case can address financial harm that has occurred because a spouse has destroyed assets, or spent or transferred money for non-marital purposes. Remedies that the court may use to address these issues can include awarding a larger share of the remaining marital assets to the non-offending spouse, or ordering the offending party to reimburse the marital estate.

Contact Our Hillside Asset Dissipation Attorney

If you suspect that your spouse is engaging in financial misconduct during your divorce, it is important to act quickly to address this issue. At Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C., our experienced Oak Park property division lawyer understands the complexities of asset dissipation. We are prepared to help you ensure that your marital assets will be divided fairly and equitably. We will advocate for your rights and work to protect your interests throughout your divorce. To schedule a free consultation and get the high-quality legal representation you need during your divorce, contact us at 708-449-7404.

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