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What is Wasteful Dissipation of Marital Assets and How Might it Impact a Divorce?

In a divorce, spouses do not always play a fair game, especially when it comes to marital assets. Wasteful dissipation refers to when a spouse knowingly wastes the money shared in the marriage, or loses their shared property, or hides away assets during a divorce. 

A spouse can squander marital assets in numerous ways, but for it to be considered wasteful dissipation, the spending must be unusual and the amount must be substantial. If your spouse took a lover to dinner and a movie, the amount would not be substantial enough for it to be an issue in court.

If you try to prove wasteful dissipation when the amount involved was minimal, it would be far more expensive than it is worth and, in all likelihood, you would not be able to prove a case under these circumstances.

Defining Wasteful Dissipation

Poor spending habits are not enough to prove wasteful dissipation in a divorce. If your spouse was always reckless in handling finances, pointing it out now that you are getting a divorce would likely not impact the divorce settlement.

Below are some common examples of wasteful dissipation:

  • Your spouse wasted marital funds on gambling
  • Your spouse spent a substantial sum of money on an affair
  • Your spouse wasted marital funds on alcohol, drugs, and partying
  • Your spouse allowed assets to become compromised (for example, not paying the mortgage on a house)
  • Selling a business or real estate at an alarmingly low value

Additionally, your spouse’s frivolous spending will only be considered wasteful dissipation if it was for his or her sole benefit. If marital assets were spent in a way that benefited both spouses, it would likely not qualify as wasteful dissipation. For example, if a spouse withdrew money from a retirement account to make a mortgage payment would probably not be considered wasteful dissipation. However, if that money was used to pay off personal debts, it could be considered wasteful dissipation.

If you believe your spouse wasted marital funds, you need to reach out to a divorce attorney who is experienced in handling complex financial matters. Courts frown on spouses who waste marital assets and, to compensate the other spouse, a judge will often grant him or her a greater share of marital assets to level the playing field.

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Contact a Knowledgeable Asset Division Attorney Today!

If your spouse wastefully dissipated assets, you need an attorney on your side to help ensure you still receive the portion of marital assets that belong to you. Otherwise, you will end up finding yourself with the short end of the stick. At Beatriz Zyne, P.A., our asset division attorney will build a solid case on your behalf to prove your spouse wastefully dissipated marital assets. You should not allow your spouse to stop you from obtaining what is rightfully yours.

Reach out to our law office today at (305) 876-6138 to request a confidential consultation and discuss the details of your case. Our team is also fluent in Spanish.