NYS Divorce Laws - Dissipation of Assets
Some divorces are friendly. The spouses have respect for each other but realize that it’s best they go their separate ways. They are mindful of their divorce and work together until they reach a fair divorce settlement. Then there are other couples where divorce is much more stressful and complicated.
For the second group, some of the primary motivators are greed, spite, jealousy, revenge, and even hatred. In these situations, the real-life divorce may closely resemble the 1989 film, The War of the Roses, starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. As the divorce war unfolds, the couple begins to fight over every marital asset under the sun.
Dirtiest Tricks in the Book
As a New York divorce law firm that frequently handles high-asset, high-conflict divorces, we have seen every dirty trick in the book; nothing surprises us anymore. We’ve seen spouses go great lengths to prevent dividing assets with their husbands or wives. This brings us to the subject of “dissipating” or wasting of marital assets. To dissipate marital assets is to knowingly and intentionally squander marital property to prevent one’s spouse from receiving their fair share.
“How does a spouse do that?” A spouse can spend money on their girlfriend or boyfriend; for example, a cheating husband can buy his girlfriend plastic surgery or an expensive new car. Or, a cheating wife can “invest” money in her boyfriend’s startup. A spouse can also take a vacation or gamble the money away in Atlantic City or Las Vegas. Often, the goal is to blow the money and earn it back after the divorce. After all, some vindictive spouses would rather spend the money than see their spouses get it.
Consequences of Innocent Spouses
When a spouse is intentionally wasting the marital assets, the consequences for the innocent spouse is no laughing matter. For example, if the innocent spouse was a wife who gave up her career at the request of her husband to take care of the home, she may not have earned income in years. Her job skills may be outdated and she may not be able to earn very much as she reenters the workforce. A minor bump in the road for the millionaire husband can mean a stay-at-home mom loses her livelihood.
What can you do if you suspect your husband or wife is wasting marital assets? Contact our New York divorce law office immediately. There are tools available that can help uncover wasteful expenditures, one is a forensic accountant, which is much like a financial detective. To learn more, we urge you to contact our firm to meet with a Putnam County attorney with extensive knowledge of NY divorce law.