After 25 years of marriage, model Jennifer Flavin filed for divorce from her actor husband, Sylvester Stallone on Aug. 19, 2022. The announcement came as a surprise for many as the couple celebrated their anniversary in May.
Another surprise was in the divorce filing itself. According to reports, Flavin accuses Stallone of “intentional dissipation, depletion and/or waste of marital assets which has had an adverse economic impact on the marital estate.” There are no specifics about how he allegedly dissipated funds and Stallone denies the allegations.
She states that equitable distribution should be an uneven award of marital property to compensate for what was wasted.
Dissipation of Marital Assets in New York
Understanding what is considered “wasteful” in terms of a divorce is important. The intention of wasteful dissipation is to reduce the marital estate so there is less to divide in the divorce and the other spouse receives less than they deserve.
Dissipation of the marital estate can include the following examples:
- Giving money to family or friends
- Making an extravagant purchase
- Gambling excessively
- Hiding assets
- Undervaluing a business
- Leaving a high-paying job
- Mismanaging assets
The intention behind spending shared resources is an important aspect in proving dissipation. When the conduct occurred also matters. For wasteful spending to impact a divorce case, the actions occurred after the marriage begins to break down. If a spouse carelessly spent money throughout the marriage, the court would have little sympathy. Possible exceptions are funds wasted on an extended extramarital affair or drug habit.
A spouse is sometimes aware of the other spouse’s improper use of funds. In other circumstances, dissipation becomes known during the financial discovery process in the divorce.
Dissipation Impacts Equitable Distribution
Like most U.S. states, New York follows equitable distribution guidelines in property and debt division decisions. The couple’s property is split into two categories: separate and marital. Separate property remains with the individual spouse. Marital property, on the other hand, is considered the property of both spouses. Marital assets are divided equitably between them. Equitable is fair, but not necessarily equal.
What is equitable in a New York divorce changes if one spouse squandered money in an effort to deprive their soon-to-be-ex. The judge can award the wronged spouse a greater portion of the remaining estate to recover what they were denied. The court also has the authority to award the spouse even more than what was dissipated.
Effect of Dissipation on Spousal Support
New York courts use a formula to determine post-divorce spousal support. Judges have the authority to award support outside of the standard calculation. The wasteful use of marital property or unfair transfers of marital property can result in a higher spousal support award for the spouse harmed by the conduct.
Fight Back Against Marital Asset Dissipation
Proving a spouse intentionally wasted money requires a strong case that frames what occurred. At the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC, we have helped clients receive what is truly their fair share in a divorce. Our team can bring in forensic accountants, business valuation experts, and other professionals to demonstrate how and when the improper actions occurred.
If you are worried that your spouse is hiding money, spending funds foolishly, or giving away property that you have a right to, contact us right away. To schedule a consultation, contact us online or call (845) 605-4330.