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Wheaton divorce lawyersIn divorce law, the term “dissipation” is used to describe property which is wasted during the end of a marriage. With help from a qualified family law attorney, you may be able to be compensated for assets which your spouse dissipated before your marital property was formally divided during divorce. However, not all wasteful spending is considered dissipation. Only situations which meet certain criteria are considered dissipation, and it is important to understand what these criteria are. 

What Types of Spending Are Considered Dissipative?

Many individuals who are in the process of getting divorced have questions about their soon-to-be-ex-spouse’s financial responsibility. However, dissipation refers to a specific situation in which a spouse wastes, misuses, or destroys marital property. The Illinois Supreme Court has specified that dissipation is the “use of marital property for the sole benefit of one of the spouses for a purpose unrelated to the marriage.”

Dissipated assets include any money or property that was used for the benefit of one of the spouses but did not benefit the other spouse or the marriage in any way. Examples of dissipation may include:

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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorneysThe realization that your marriage is coming to an end can oftentimes be very difficult to cope with. While this can be true for some cases, a divorce can occasionally result in the individuals coming out much happier based on the promise of a fresh start. When a couple can work together and make compromises on divisions of assets, debt, property and other marital concerns, stress and anxiety can be relieved. It is critical to remember that if children are involved, their needs are more important than anything else, which should be reflected in the agreed upon parenting plan. The divorce process can all depend on how everything is managed, and an amicable outcome can be achieved if the spouses involved can follow these tips:

Tip #1: Do Not Act Inappropriately

Understanding that a divorce affects other people can help with perspective. The actions and emotions you display can have a lasting outcome on friends, family members, children, and the opposing spouse. Saying something that you might regret later could result in your peaceful separation falling apart. 

Coinciding with this, social media may seem like a good platform to vent your frustrations and anger, however this is not recommended. Taking into account all of the relevant factors, an inappropriate post could have severe consequences. It is not uncommon for social media posts to be presented as evidence in divorce cases, often to the detriment of the spouse who posted them.

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Wheaton divorce attorneysA divorce is typically a last resort for a couple who may have tried marriage counseling or therapy in an effort to solve their problems. Illinois recognizes “irreconcilable differences” as the only grounds for divorce, meaning that the marriage is considered beyond repair. While there is no longer a requirement in Illinois for divorcing spouses to live apart, a six-month period of living separately will be taken by the court as proof that there are irreconcilable differences between the parties.

Once the decision to end a matrimonial union has been made, there are legal steps that need to be taken in order to complete the divorce process. Even if a couple works together to come to agreements on financial or child-related issues, there are still obligations each party must meet for the final divorce decree to be issued.  

Divorce Proceedings

Illinois requires residency for a minimum of 90 days before a person can file for divorce. The proceedings are initiated when one spouse (petitioner) files a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in his or her county’s court. After the filing, the other spouse (respondent) is served with the petition. The respondent has 30 days to file a response to the petition. If this is not done within the appropriate time period, a judge can enter a default judgment against that spouse. 

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Wheaton divorce attorneysThe prevalence of social media cannot be denied in today’s society. Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are some of the most popular social media websites for people of all ages. While a lot of users like these sites as a way to communicate and share pictures with friends or family members, the use of social media can prove detrimental when going through a divorce. If one spouse is posting photos of extravagant spending, for example, this can be spun as evidence against the other spouse if the couple is disputing spousal support/maintenance, child support, or child custody issues. It is imperative to err on the side of caution when contemplating social media activity during a divorce. 

Online Evidence Can Be Used Against You

It is important to know that text messages and emails are admissible in court. If a spouse uses social media, text messages, or email to announce a new job or an upcoming bonus that has not been disclosed to the other spouse or in court, this can be used as evidence that the person is not being honest regarding his or her finances. This can affect settlements for division of property and assets. Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state so marital property will be split fairly, not necessarily equally. However, a judge will take several factors into consideration when determining how to divide everything. 

On Facebook, friends might post pictures and “tag” someone else in them, which includes his or her name. Therefore, people must be careful about their actions and behavior depending on their privacy settings for social media accounts. For example, if an individual takes an expensive vacation with friends and someone in the group posts pictures of it, that might lessen his or her chances of receiving spousal support or maintenance payments after the divorce.

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Wheaton divorce lawyersMaking adjustments after a divorce is a scary scenario that far too many couples encounter today; your entire life as you know it is coming to a change very quickly. While one half of the couple may seem to move on with limited issues, the other companion might not be that lucky. Stay-at-home parents are very common in our society, as many couples have taken the option of putting one spouse's career on hold in an effort to focus on the aspects of life at home, such as raising children and maintaining the property. Stay-at-home parents may feel at a disadvantage in many categories going into and coming out of a divorce.  

Planning for the Future 

Once a divorce is introduced into the conversation, each partner will have to consider how their life will be without the other involved. Finding a new place to live and possibly searching for a new job are two major hurdles that are not easily overcome. The entire process of a divorce and its outcomes rely heavily on financial matters. How can spouses be on a level field if one of them has not worked for a significant time?

Looking ahead to what will need to be accomplished is a good task to keep in mind. Some recommended things you should do include taking the time to:

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