Both parties appealed the divorce court’s orders. One of wife’s arguments is that the court made a mistake by not saying that husband had dissipated marital assets. Husband had transferred a large amount of funds to his father’s account. He eventually closed the account. He kept all the money for himself.
Wife said that the marriage was going downhill when husband did these things. The court said that the marriage was not going through a breakdown when most of the funds were deposited and removed by husband. The court also said that the money was husband’s father’s money. Therefore, it belonged to husband’s father.
The appellate court reversed the trial court’s ruling. The law is that dissipation occurs when one spouse uses a marital asset for his or her sole benefit. Also, it must be used for a reason unrelated to the marriage. The period of time has to be when the marriage is undergoing an irreconcilable breakdown. It is not considered dissipation if the marriage is not breaking down. Or, if it is for a common purpose.
The law on dissipation requires only that the marriage had begun to undergo an irreconcilable breakdown. It does not require that the marriage had reached its final breaking point.
Wife testified as to her unhappiness at the time. She said that husband was physically abusive. He refused to purchase a plane ticket for her to attend her cousin’s wedding in London. He knew the wedding was very important to wife.
Most telling, however, is the fact that during a short period while all of the other problems were occurring, husband withdrew or transferred the majority of the funds out of this account. He had given no explanations for the withdrawals.
In re Marriage of Dhillon, Third District, Docket No. 3-13-0653, November 7, 2014.