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What does the dissipation of marital assets look like?

On Behalf of | Sep 22, 2022 | Divorce

When you’re getting a divorce, financial issues can end up being the hardest ones to untangle – and that’s when everybody plays fair.

What happens, then, when one spouse is willing to take a “scorched earth” approach to the family finances rather than share with the other? When a spouse intentionally wastes marital property, that’s called the dissipation of marital assets.

Here are 4 common ways that spouses dissipate marital assets

People can be endlessly creative about the ways they waste money and other assets. However, there are a few common scenarios that crop up over and over again:

  • Gambling: Sometimes a spouse would rather blow all their money at the poker tables than split the money in the divorce.
  • Luxury purchases: A spouse may decide that since life as they know it is ending, they may as well spend like the entire world is ending, too. Blowing all the marital money on expensive rounds of drinks and other consumable luxuries may seem like a great way to “get even” with the spouse they blame for their troubles.
  • Wanton destruction: Sometimes a spouse will purposefully destroy something rather than split it, so a victimized spouse comes home to find that prize vehicles were wrecked or valuable paintings were slashed.
  • Affairs: Sometimes the dissipation of marital assets has more to do with a spouse’s new love interest than a desire for revenge. Just the same, spending a lot of marital money on jewelry, vacations and other gifts for their new partner is another way to injure their spouse financially.

Asset dissipation has the net effect of depriving the victimized spouse of their fair share of the marital pot – unless the victimized spouse fights back. Addressing the dissipation with the court

can result in a larger share of what remains to balance things out or a judgment against your spouse that requires them to reimburse you. Experienced legal guidance can help you achieve a positive outcome to your case.