Husband told the court that an account in his name was his nonmarital property. He argued that the funds belonged to his father. The court said that the wife’s had the burden of showing that the funds were marital. The law states that all property acquired by either spouse during the marriage and before a judgment for dissolution is presumed to be marital property. Regardless of how title to the property is held.
The Appellate Court disagreed that it was wife’s burden. It was husband’s burden to prove that there was an exception so that the property was not marital. He did not do that. Also, the court did not believe that the husband had been honest. He was not a credible person. The funds in the account should have been held to be marital property.
The court saw that the marriage was undergoing an irretrievable breakdown. This was during the time that husband was transferring money around. The trial court heard from the wife that she was very upset and depressed about her marriage. As the year went on the situation deteriorated. The appellate court noted that the law on dissipation does not require that the marriage had to reach its final breaking point before dissipation could occur. Rather, it had to have only begun to undergo an irreconcilable breakdown.
The time period during which the husband transferred the $300,000 to his father coincided with the dates when the wife testified the marriage was undergoing an irretrievable breakdown. The transfers should have been considered dissipation. That means that he improperly transferred the money. Therefore, the court held that the wife was entitled to one half of the funds transferred.
In IRMO Dhillon, 2014 IL App (3d) 130653
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