Can I Recoup Money or Property Wasted by a Vengeful Spouse During Divorce?

dupage county divorce lawyer Divorce can stir up a wide range of emotions, including anger, resentment, and betrayal. Some divorcing spouses take out their anger on the other spouse by intentionally wasting or destroying marital property in an act of revenge. For example, a spouse infuriated at the thought of divorce may throw the other spouse’s personal property in the trash, drain the joint checking account at the casino, or spend thousands of dollars on luxury items.

If you are getting divorced and your spouse has wasted marital assets or funds, It is important to be aware of your legal options. In this blog, we will discuss the types of wasteful spending that constitute dissipation of assets and how a dissipation of assets claim can help you recoup the value of wasted, destroyed, or lost assets.

What is a Dissipation of Assets Claim?

A dissipation of assets claim addresses reckless spending or intentional destruction of marital property during the divorce process. If a spouse is found to have dissipated assets, the court will consider this dissipation when dividing marital property. The spouse who dissipated assets may receive a proportionately lesser share of the marital estate, while the spouse who did not dissipate receives a greater share of the remaining marital estate.

Dissipation of assets includes a wide variety of actions, including but not limited to:

  • Spending substantial marital funds on gifts for an affair partner
  • Damaging or destroying personal property such as furniture, motor vehicles, or clothing
  • Wasting money on frivolous purposes, such as gambling or excessive shopping
  • Selling marital assets to finance a substance abuse problem
  • Giving away marital property to others

Dissipation of assets does not refer to reasonable spending, such as paying household bills, buying groceries or other necessities, or fulfilling reasonable financial obligations.

According to Illinois law, dissipation of assets occurs when each of the following is shown: 

  • The use of the marital property is for the spouse’s sole benefit.
  • The use of the marital property is unrelated to the marriage.
  • The wasteful spending or reckless use of the marital property occurred when the marriage is experiencing an “irretrievable breakdown”

Contact our DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

Dissipation of assets occurs when a spouse squanders marital assets during or just prior to divorce. If you suspect that you may have a valid dissipation of assets claim, make sure to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. There are strict time constraints regarding when and how a dissipation of assets claim must be filed.

Our DuPage County divorce attorneys understand the complexities of Illinois property division laws. We can evaluate your situation, determine whether your spouse has dissipated assets, and help you take the next steps to pursue compensation for the dissipated assets. Call our office today at 630-665-7300 to set up a confidential consultation.


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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree

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