A party charged with dissipating marital assets is obliged to establish how those funds were spent by clear and specific evidence.   General and vague statements that the funds were spent on marital expenses or to pay bills will not suffice to avoid a finding of dissipation.

A party charged with dissipating marital assets is obliged to establish how those funds were spent.  By clear and specific evidence.   General and vague statements that the funds were spent on marital expenses or to pay bills is not enough to avoid a finding of dissipation.

Wife claimed his gambling was dissipation of their assets.  Husband’s testimony at trial shows the checks written to the casinos did not represent losses.   They served to establish credit with the casinos.  The credit would provide complimentary lodging, food, beverages and shows for Husband and/or clients he was entertaining.  The trial court found dissipation.  Husband appealed.

Husband had argued that the court erred in finding dissipation as a matter of law.  Since his casino patronage was merely a continuation of the pattern established before the breakdown of the marriage.

The issue is not whether the spending is consistent with that engaged in prior to the breakdown.  Rather, whether such spending was for the sole benefit of one of the spouses.  For a purpose unrelated to the marriage.  At a time when the marriage is undergoing an irreconcilable breakdown.

The Appellate Court agreed that dissipation occurred. However, in light of husband’s testimony which suggests that at least some of the gambling activity was related to the entertainment of business clients, we find no abuse of the court’s discretion in not making any specific allotment for this in its property distribution.

IRMO Hagshenas, 234 Ill.App.3d 178.