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Dissipation an important factor in property division in Illinois

There is always a financial aspect to a divorce. A divorce is usually followed by alimony, property division, child custody and visitation rights, and a couple needs to deal with those issues sensitively in order to maintain a healthy relationship for the sake of their children.

Residents of Lake County, Illinois, may understand that in order to protect the rights of each person involved in a divorce case state governments have put in place various mechanisms. Just like every other state in the United States, Illinois also has its own laws regarding property division between the parties.

The law allows for equitable property division of the marital estate and marital debt between the estranged couple and a court considers various factors when determining what qualifies as equitable distribution. It includes considering each spouse's contribution toward the acquisition. Additionally, it also includes preservation costs and any increase or decrease in the value of marital or non-marital property. The court also considers the duration of the marriage, the monetary value of the property each spouse receives, the financial condition of each spouse when the division of property becomes effective and the custodial provisions for any children.

During the process of property division, a court also takes into consideration dissipation of the marital and non-marital property by either of the spouses. By definition, dissipation means using marital funds or property by any of the spouses for their own benefit. The usage must be unrelated to the marriage and at a time when the marriage is breaking down. Dissipation can include gambling, excessive borrowing and excessive use of a credit card, excessive traveling and excessive spending for one's personal needs. However, the costs associated with living separately while a divorce case is pending are generally not considered dissipation.

Source: AAML.org, "Division of Assets," Accessed on Oct. 30, 2014

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