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What Is Wasteful Dissipation and How Could it Affect My Divorce?

When a couple divorces, they’ll eventually endure asset division to split marital property. While the hope is for both parties to cooperate throughout the process, this is, unfortunately, not always the case.

Occasionally, one spouse will attempt to hide assets or make large purchases with the intent of later selling the property for a return of the money in order to come out with more than their soon-to-be-ex. This is considered wasteful dissipation.

Identifying Wasteful Dissipation

Typically, wasteful dissipation is seen as only benefiting one spouse. If both had something to gain from the spending of marital assets, it is not considered wasteful dissipation.

Furthermore, to be considered wasteful dissipation, the amount must be significant. While excessive small purchases could be burdensome and cause some mild annoyance, it will generally not impact the way property and wealth is redistributed between the two parties.

Wasteful dissipation can take shape in a number of ways. Common examples include:

  • Gambling
  • Intentionally accruing debt
  • Excessive spending on drugs or alcohol
  • Failing to protect marital assets
  • Spending money on an affair

If you are able to prove that your partner wastefully spent marital assets, your spouse would be entitled to less in the property division.

What to Look for

To prove wasteful dissipation, we must follow any transfers of marital funds. With the help of a forensic accountant, we can find:

  • If spending increased immediately before divorce
  • If transactions were higher than they should be
  • If payments were made to unrecognized accounts

Proving wasteful dissipation is difficult. Trust our attorneys to lead you through the process. We will fight to protect your finances and your future. Call Smith Law Offices, LLC today at (636) 400-1177 to get started.

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