When two parties divorce, they are entitled to do discovery as to the other person’s assets. This may include looking at each other’s financial records, answering interrogatories or taking one another’s depositions. Often times, this can lead to one party viewing transactions of the other party which they either do not know what they were for, or, they know what they were for, and they were not for a marital purpose. If marital money is spent for something other than a marital purpose after the breakdown of the parties’ marriage, this can be called “dissipation” by the Court.
Dissipation could be something such as buying jewelry for a girlfriend or boyfriend, or planning a lavish vacation when the parties only took modest vacations during the marriage, and the like. The money that is called “dissipation” by the Court is added back into the marital estate and divided, since it is money both parties are entitled to. Illinois is not a fault state, but that does not mean that marital funds are allowed to be dissipated. If it is found that they were dissipated, it will likely be ordered to be paid back by the party who complete the dissipation.