Your Family Matters

Dissipation is different than hiding assets

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2024 | family law

When you and your spouse decide to get a divorce, you need to divide your assets. Unfortunately, your spouse may not be happy with you or with the divorce itself. They may try to keep more of the assets for themselves, rather than dividing them fairly.

One way that people do this is by hiding assets, such as failing to disclose bank accounts or giving money to family and friends so that they can get it back after the divorce. But there’s another tactic you need to be aware of, even if your spouse isn’t hiding marital assets. They could be attempting to dissipate them, which may accomplish a similar goal. 

Spending down family assets

The dissipation of marital assets is essentially when one person tries to aggressively spend down those assets before the divorce.

For example, perhaps you don’t work and your spouse has a high-paying job. They decide to recklessly spend in the months leading up to the divorce, knowing that they can use their career to earn the money back in the future. But they also know that replacing that lost money will be much more difficult for you, and they are essentially spending your money in advance.

Often, people who are doing this will attempt to buy items that have little or no resale value. So you should be wary if your spouse starts traveling more, eating lavish meals or spending excessively on entertainment. They are not making reasonable financial decisions intentionally to deprive you of a portion of those shared assets.

Do you believe that your spouse may be trying to hide or dissipate assets? If you do, then you need to know what legal steps you can take as you work through the divorce.