What is Wasteful Dissipation?

If you are getting a divorce or preparing to embark on this difficult process, you might have heard of wasteful dissipation. Generally, in a divorce, this term refers to the purposeful wasting of marital assets in anticipation of a divorce. While this broad definition sounds straightforward enough, divorces that involve wasteful dissipation are actually quite complex and require the knowledgeable legal guidance of an experienced divorce attorney. Otherwise, you risk not receiving your fair share of marital assets.

Understanding Wasteful Dissipation in a Divorce

Not every instance of spending marital assets is an example of wasteful dissipation. If your spouse was always wasteful in his or her use of marital assets and you never objected, a judge might not consider the situation an instance of wasteful dissipation.

Below are the factors a judge will consider when determining if your spouse wastefully dissipated assets:

  • Your spouse’s intent when using marital assets
  • If your spouse attempted to conceal the spending
  • If only your spouse stood to gain from the waste of marital assets
  • If the spending was only considered a waste in hindsight
  • When your spouse committed the wasteful act
  • If your spouse failed to support the household due to the wasting of marital assets

Below are some examples of wasteful dissipation:

  • Excessive gambling
  • Using marital assets on an extramarital affair
  • A substantial purchase before filing for divorce
  • Buying illegal drugs or spending excessively on alcohol
  • Purposefully failing to protect marital assets

Moreover, the amount involved must be substantial. If your spouse had an extramarital affair and spent money on a few lunch dates, it is unlikely a judge will see view this as wasteful dissipation. On the other hand, if your spouse spent thousands of dollars on hotel rooms or exotic mini vacations, a judge might consider this an act of wasteful dissipation.

To remedy the situation, a judge might award a greater share of marital assets to you to make up for the assets your spouse wasted. If you believe your spouse wasted marital assets to prevent you from obtaining your fair share, you need to secure skilled legal counsel to protect your rights.

Schedule a Consultation with One of Our Skilled Divorce Attorneys Today!

Divorce can get ugly and, in some cases, one spouse may try to prevent the other from obtaining the portion of marital assets. If you believe your spouse wasted marital assets or purposefully spent a substantial sum of assets in anticipation of the divorce, an experienced attorney can help rectify this. At Nichols Dixon PLLC, our family law team has the knowledge and skill to help you navigate this complex and challenging process. Our attorneys create personalized strategies for every client they serve and are committed to providing exceptional legal representation during some of the most challenging experiences.

Take the first step toward protecting your share of marital assets by reaching out to our law office at (405) 294-1511 and set up an initial consultation with a trusted member of our divorce team.