You’re probably well aware that some people will attempt to hide assets during divorce. You know that you don’t want your spouse to hide these assets from you so that you don’t get a portion of them, and you’ve taken the time to really consider everything that the two of you own as a couple. You are confident that you’ve made a complete inventory of all of the family assets, and nothing is being hidden.
It’s good that you’re wary of this issue, as it does come up in a lot of contentious divorce cases. But it’s also wise to point out that some spouses will attempt to dissipate assets, rather than hide them. This is a slightly different tactic, but it is still designed around the same goal of keeping you from getting the assets that you deserve.
How does dissipation of the marital assets work?
Dissipating assets is the general practice of spending money in an unexpected or abnormal way, generally with the goal of reducing the total value of the couple’s financial estate.
In other words, your spouse knows that they can’t just hide the assets, but they may believe that they can spend your money on themselves so that they won’t then have to split the money with you during the divorce. As long as they buy something that they cannot return, which is not a physical asset that you can take in the divorce, they may believe that they have deprived you of those assets.
However, this type of intentionally reckless spending before a divorce can be a type of fraud. Make sure that you know exactly what legal steps you can take if you believe that this is happening.