3 forms of asset dissipation that can affect high-asset divorces

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2021 | Divorce

The more assets and income you have, the greater the risk is of a difficult and contentious divorce. These spouses may have plenty of motivation to use underhanded tactics for their own financial benefit in a divorce. Others just want to penalize their spouse by reducing what they get.

Intentional dissipation of marital assets, which is the intentional wasting of assets, can affect the marital estate and what each spouse receives. Let’s look at three common forms of dissipation that could impact the outcome of your divorce.

Giving away property or selling it for far less than it’s worth

Maybe your spouse just gave away your spare car to one of their co-workers, even though you could have sold it for thousands of dollars. Perhaps they decided to sell some of your furniture, but they only charged $20 for mid-century modern solid wood pieces in excellent condition. Selling or giving away marital assets without the consent of a spouse can constitute dissipation.

Incurring a lot of debts they expect their spouse to pay

Some people will max out joint credit cards so that there’s no more available credit. They might even open a new line of credit in just their name during the marriage with the expectation that their spouse will have to help them pay after divorce due to equitable distribution law.

Wasteful spending that only benefits one spouse

Credit card debt isn’t the only way that shopping and spending could amount to dissipation. Using your liquid assets to make a lot of unnecessary purchases that only benefit the person spending can also constitute dissipation. The same is true for purchases or spending that undermine the marital relationship. Hidden gambling habits or adultery could lead to dissipation through inappropriate spending.

Recognizing dissipation on the part of your spouse can help you call attention to that spending or get an order to put a stop to it so that you have a better chance at a fair outcome in your upcoming Michigan divorce.