What is the Wasteful Dissipation of Assets and How Does it Impact Property Division?

Divorce tends to bring out another side of people, causing them to do things they would have never considered. No one wants to lose the assets or property they worked hard for, and instead of relying on the skill and knowledge of a divorce attorney, some might choose to take steps that could land them in hot water and result in an undesirable outcome, such as hiding or wastefully dissipating marital assets.

What is a Wasteful Dissipation of Marital Property?

The dissipation of marital assets is defined as concealing or wasting marital assets to prevent the other spouse from obtaining his or her share during the divorce process. However, the court will not necessarily penalize a spouse for simply being a little reckless with spending habits. Other factors will be considered.

Here are some of the most common examples of wasteful dissipation:

  • Excessive gambling
  • Buying gifts or spending money on an extramarital affair
  • Purposely neglecting to preserve assets, such as failing to pay the mortgage and letting the marital home go into foreclosure
  • Spending vast sums of money on alcohol, drugs, and/ or partying

To convince the court that your spouse wastefully dissipated marital assets, your attorney will need to provide a strong argument to support this claim. The following will be considered:

  • Was a large sum of money spent? If the amount of money your spouse spent was minimal, it might not be considered wasteful dissipation. For example, if he or she bought flowers for a lover, this would not be enough to be a case of wasteful dissipation. However, if he or she took a lover on an exotic trip, it would likely count as wasteful dissipation.
  • Are your spouse’s spending habits out of the ordinary? If your spouse was always a reckless spender, you would probably not be able to claim that his or her spending habits are a case of wasteful dissipation. However, if your spouse only suddenly started spending vast sums of money because you are getting a divorce, you would have a stronger case.

If your spouse dissipated assets, it would absolutely have an impact on property division. Such an act would give you grounds for requesting an unequal division of the marital estate that favors you in order to make up for the misused or wasted assets.

Reach Out to an Experienced Divorce Attorney Today!

Property division is a heavily contested issue during the divorce process, which is why it is imperative you hire an experienced attorney to handle your case and ensure your assets and property are protected. At SmartLaw, we have the knowledge and insight that is necessary to help clients successfully navigate the complexities involved in the divorce process. You can rely on our team to effectively represent you during property distribution negotiations. A lot is on the line, so do not risk handling this all on your own!

Contact our law firm today at to request a confidential case review with a compassionate member of our legal team and discuss the details of your case.