divorce, one of the biggest issues relates to marital assets and, in a particularly
nasty battle, one spouse might choose to employ tactics to reduce the
settlement their soon-to-be ex-spouse will receive. One way to do this
is by deliberately spending assets, which is also known as “wasteful
dissipation.” However, this move will likely backfire on the spouse
who chooses to use this underhanded maneuver.
Wasteful Dissipation Explained
Spending money and selling assets are not always examples of wasteful dissipation.
Whether or not a financial decision was wasteful is decided on a case-by-case
basis due its subjective nature. There are some characteristics the court
looks for when determining spending or transactions as intentionally wasteful
and vindictive. This includes:
- Excessive gambling
- Frivolous shopping
- The selling of property or business interests for much less than their
- Expenses related to extramarital affairs
- Excessive spending on drugs, alcohol, or partying
- Intentionally failing to preserve assets, such as allowing a home to go
When Spouses Waste Assets and Funds
In a marriage, there is often either a blurred line or no line at all between
financial accounts. Often, spouses either have access to each other’s
accounts, or have a joint account. This makes it incredibly easy for a
spiteful spouse to use the funds in these accounts to make lavish purchases,
go on shopping sprees, or gamble away marital savings. This behavior does
not go unnoticed by the court and will come back to haunt the wasteful
spouse during divorce proceedings.
The Effect of Wasteful Dissipation on a Divorce Settlement
Florida is an equitable distribution state. When assets are intentionally
or excessively wasted, the court holds this kind of behavior against the
responsible spouse when the time comes to make a decision regarding the
equitable distribution of assets and property. To factor in a spouse’s
wasteful financial conduct, the court will charge the value of the spent
assets against that party’s equitable share, reducing the amount
he or she receives.
If you expect an impending divorce in your marriage and choose to react
by behaving financially irresponsible with assets, you will only cause
yourself more problems that will cost you in the long run. You might be
angry with your spouse, but wastefully spending assets will harm you much
more than it will harm your ex. If you suspect your spouse is engaging
in this behavior, bring up the issue with your divorce attorney.
Skilled Divorce Attorney in Orlando
R. Gregory Colvin advocates for women in the divorce process, empowering
them through personal, financial, and legal difficulties they encounter
in family courts. We are here to help you understand your rights, familiarize
yourself with all available legal options, and navigate you through the
best course of action for your case. With over 25 years of legal experience,
you can be confident in our lead divorce attorney’s ability to handle
Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you.