Trial court e-ntered a Judgement of Divorce. Wife appealed various issues. One of them was dissipation. The Trial Court found no dissipation.

Wife argued that the trial court’s judgment failed to account for millions in “missing funds.” She contends that $6,429,000 is “missing” from the Gift Trust. She argued that Husband failed to provide a good reason why the funds were not deposited into the trust.

Our supreme court has defined dissipation to mean “the ‘use of marital property for the sole benefit of one of the spouses. For a purpose unrelated to the marriage. At a time that the marriage is undergoing an irreconcilable breakdown.’

Wife had claimed that Husband’s dissipation had started up to ten years prior. She had presented lots of evidence of marital troubles that had occurred during that time frame.

The Appellate Court stated that an irretrievable breakdown is not a “prolonged gradual process extending from the initial signs of trouble in a marriage until the actual breakdown itself.” The proper date is the date by which it is apparent that a breakdown is inevitable.

The Court also noted that the dissipation claim arose well into the litigation. That is when wife apparently realized that certain transfers of marital property could not form the basis of any claim. Unless the claims could be characterized as dissipation. The Appellate Court agreed with the Trial Court that there was no dissipation.

The law under the revised Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act is very clear. No dissipation shall be deemed to have occurred prior to 3 years after the party claiming dissipation knew or should have known of the dissipation. But in no event prior to 5 years before the filing of the petition for dissolution of marriage.

In re the Marriage of Romano, 2012 IL App 982793.

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