The divorce process is not instantaneous. From the time that you tell your spouse that you’d like to get a divorce to the time when it is finalized, you may still technically be married for months. Many couples are no longer living together at this time, but they are still a couple for the time being.
If you’re in this stage, be very careful with how you spend your money. The way that you use it can have an impact on your case.
The dissipation of marital assets
Excessive spending can be seen as the dissipation of the marital assets that you and your spouse control. This essentially just means that you are using the money in a frivolous manner with an intent to waste that money. Of course, this could also happen to you if your spouse is the one who’s wasting money, so their spending habits play a role as well.
For example, maybe your spouse has a very high-paying job, but they know that you do not. This makes it easier for them to recover lost savings and assets. They may decide that they’re going to make frivolous purchases for non-refundable items before you officially begin the property division process. By doing this, they eliminate some of these assets so that you cannot get your portion of them.
Naturally, your spouse would also be wasting their own assets in this situation, but they see that as a win-win. They still get to cut you out of some of what you deserved, and they know that their high-paying job can help them earn that money back after the fact. Plus, if they’re buying things like plane tickets or expensive meals, they also get to enjoy the things that they’re purchasing.
But this can be devastating for you. If your spouse wastes $100,000 that they were supposed to split with you, that’s a serious financial loss. This is why this type of spending can be seen as fraud, and that can change how the court decides to divide your assets.
Looking into the steps to take
This is just one way that the property division process can get complicated, but it does show you why it’s important to know about all of the steps that you can take and the options that you have.