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Waste dissipation during a divorce

On Behalf of | Jul 29, 2023 | Divorce

While going through a divorce in New York, finances often play the biggest role. After building a life together, the courts work to ensure an equitable split of assets.

Unfortunately, some people take steps to try and negate those efforts by hiding, selling, or wasting assets. All of those actions come with consequences.

The definition of wasteful dissipation

Wasteful dissipation, also referred to as asset dissipation, involves one spouse purposely spending significant amounts of money to reduce the couple’s total assets. Once the divorce hearing happens, that means the judge has fewer assets to divide. This often leaves one spouse with much less than should have received.

The ways a spouse hides or wastes assets

Asset dissipation comes in many forms. If an affair served as a reason for the divorce, any money spent on the extramarital affair counts as wasting assets. Other legally wasteful scenarios include paying for expensive entertainment or trips before separating or spending money on illegal activities. Additionally, some people may try to sell marital assets below cost or transfer an asset to another person. New technologies, such as Bitcoin, have created new ways to avoid fairly splitting assets.

The consequences of doing either

Although it takes diligence to prove, a person guilty of waste dissipation will have to pay for their actions. The person found guilty may have to put the assets back, face getting a lower portion of the split, or even owe the spouse the amount wasted.

Divorce comes with many nuances, which makes paying attention to all of the details essential.