3 FAQs about marital asset dissipation

On Behalf of | Aug 4, 2023 | Divorce |

Even couples who have spent years building a life together have no true immunity against divorce.

Although New Jersey has some of the lowest divorce rates and longest-lasting marriages, divorce still happens. While going through a separation and divorce, you want to ensure that your spending habits remain the same to ensure an equitable division of assets can happen. Unfortunately, your spouse may not have the same inclination.

1. How do the courts define marital asset dissipation?

The dissipation of assets means that one spouse purposely squandered assets or frivolously spent money to minimize the value of your marital assets. Ways this may happen include purchasing a lavish vehicle, selling assets to pay off personal debt, spending money on an extramarital affair, or giving away assets to a friend or family member.

2. How do I prove my spouse wasted marital assets?

Making a marital asset dissipation claim requires evidence. The courts will look at various factors to determine if dissipation happened. Key elements include whether the expenditure only benefitted one spouse, how soon the excessive spending started related to the divorce filing, and whether these types of expenditures happened frequently during the marriage.

3. Can I seek to recover those assets?

If you believe your spouse has squandered assets, you have the right to file a claim and seek recovery. Once the courts determine that dissipation occurred, they have different options to help you get an equitable distribution. In some instances, it may mean your spouse paying more spousal support while in other situations the courts may give you more of the marital estate.

While divorce comes with stress, letting marital asset dissipation happen only leads to you not getting your fair share.