By Sara Pitcher
Spending on a significant other or third party that was unknown to the spouse is a common example of dissipation of assets.
Dissipation as it relates to spending on alcohol, drugs, gambling, or similar items or activities is much more difficult to prove and have successfully set aside than proving spending on an affair.
If there was excessive spending on a significant other who is not the spouse, then the amount can be set aside to the spouse who spent the funds.
Credit card and bank statements, receipts, and other documents can be used to show the amounts of the spending. Restaurant purchases, hotels, jewelry, and other gifts are common examples of expenditures that can be documented with these receipts and statements.
Dissipation of Assets Case Example
While it is often frustrating for men in divorce to hear that their spouse’s unfaithfulness has limited impact, if any, on the divorce and division of property, this is one way that an affair would be relevant in the division of property.
For example, if evidence was presented and the court found that Wife had spent $5,000 on her boyfriend during the marriage, then that $5,000 would be set aside to Wife and Husband would receive $5,000 in other property to offset the amount.
In this case, the money would be set aside to Wife but it would have already been spent so she would have nothing to show for her $5,000, but Husband would have an actual asset to account for his share. This is how an unequal division occurs.
Using Dissipation To Your Advantage
While not all dissipation of assets claims proceed to hearing, this information can also be used to negotiate a settlement that would set aside the dissipated property, or at least a share of it, to the spouse who caused the waste or misuse.
If you believe there are facts in your case that may support a claim of dissipation, then you should make your divorce attorney aware as soon as possible so he or she may begin to gather the necessary evidence to support your claim.
If you believe that your spouse has dissipated marital assets during the marriage and you are going through a divorce, you should contact a men’s divorce lawyer who practices in the area of domestic relations law, such as the family law attorneys at Cordell & Cordell.