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Spending before divorce? Be careful.

Financial matters are most often the biggest issues in a divorce. After all, Illinois law requires divorcing spouses to divide their marital assets equitably. The process of dividing that property can lead to significant disputes over who gets what – or how much.

Both families and family courts take the fair division of property seriously. That is why spouses must take great care of their finances and be conscious of their spending habits before the divorce is finalized.

Why is it important to watch spending?

Of course, it is impossible to stop spending. Even during a divorce, individuals must still pay for essentials, such as:

  • Groceries
  • Utility bills
  • Credit card bills
  • Personal loans

However, when spouses spend too much of the marital money or spend without thinking, they might face penalties they did not expect.

Spouses share marital assets until the property division settlement takes effect. Therefore, individuals must be conscious of their spending habits to avoid accusations of dissipating assets.

What is the dissipation of assets?

A divorce can leave spouses bitter and angry with each other. In some cases, these emotions might lead spouses to try and get back at the other. One common way they might try to do this is by dissipating assets.

The dissipation of assets is the act of spending money or using marital assets for the purpose of diminishing them. That way, the other spouse cannot recover as many assets in the property division process.

Even if spouses do not have the intention of dissipating assets, their ex-spouse or the courts could perceive it as such if they spend excessively on entertainment or other non-essentials.

Essentially, if spending is out of the ordinary or excessive, it could be a red flag to many family courts. It can be difficult to prove the dissipation of assets, but individuals should still keep a careful eye on their spending – as well as an organized record of their finances – before and during their divorce proceedings.