How might your spouse dissipate marital assets?

On Behalf of | May 11, 2023 | Property Division

People are often concerned that their spouse is going to try to hide marital assets during a divorce. Hiding assets is prohibited, but it does still happen. For instance, someone may transfer a significant amount of money to a friend so that it looks like they have fewer assets when they disclose them to the court, but their friend will then give the money back after the divorce.

Another tactic that people sometimes use, however, is known as the dissipation of marital assets. Rather than hiding them, they just spend those assets down. They’re still depriving you of the percentage of the assets you would’ve received in the divorce by spending them before you split up. How could they do this?

Starting a new relationship

Sometimes, people get involved in a new relationship before their divorce is final. Say that your spouse starts dating someone else and then decides to buy them a car or take them on an expensive vacation. They’re essentially trying to spend the funds that the two of you had on their new partner. This way, they don’t have to divide that money with you, but they can use it to fund their own lifestyle.

Making non-refundable purchases

Another tactic that people use is simply to buy things that can’t be returned or refunded. An example could be taking a trip. They get to experience the trip, but you can’t refund stays at hotels or airplane tickets after they’ve been used. As such, this may be viewed as an attempt to dissipate those assets prior to the divorce.

If you are involved in this type of situation, it’s important to understand all the legal options at your disposal.

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