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Infidelity and Divorce: Understanding Dissipation of Assets


By: Janice Dantes


In my experience, Filipinos have a strong cultural belief that c ouples should remain married. Interestingly, infidelity is incredibly rampant in our community. Nearly all of the divorces I have done involving Filipinos involve infidelity.

Illinois is a no fault state where the only grounds for divorce a party in a divorce needs to allege is “irreconcilable dif ferences.” Bad acts like infidelity are not punished nor do they entitle the sc orned spouse to more of the assets. While it is important to reveal to your attorney that either you are cheating on your spouse or that you believe your spouse is cheating on you, it is not required that you show me inappropri ate texts or pictures as I will not be presenting that information in court.

However, as the scorned spouse, you are not completely out of luck. In Illinois, the scorned spouse can get some additional funds from cheating spouse if they can prove dissipation. Dissipation occurs when one spouse uses marital assets for non-marital purposes. In the case of cheating, sometimes there can be exotic trips or lavish gifts b estowed upon the Paramore. In my experience with the Filipino communit y, I often have to subpoena records from companies like Moneygram or Western Union because there is money sent abroad.

I do want to caution scorned spouses that before they go down this road, it is incredibly difficult and expensive to find evidence of dissipation. The cheating spouse is typically not forthcoming. Further, most of the transactions involved in cheating are cash transactions. Lastly, many trips are combined with business trips or even vacations with the children. I would just be prepared that you could spend a lot of money trying to find evidence of dissipation and all we find is a pile of debt. It is ultimately up to the client to decide if the investment in the investigation is worth it.

Infidelity is a difficult situation and I have many couples who decide to forgive and move forward together. However, if you are seeking counsel on how to move forward separately from your spouse where infidelity is involved, please feel free to give me a call at 312-546-5077 and schedule a free 30 minute phone consultation.

Thank you for reading. Until we meet again, love one another.

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