What is Wasteful Dissipation and How Will it Affect My Divorce?


During the divorce process, spouses must divide marital assets and property. Unfortunately, the situation can get more than a little contentious at times and a spouse may waste assets on purpose or fail to protect property to prevent the other from securing a fair share. Such behavior is known as wasteful dissipation and, in a divorce, it can have a significant impact on property and asset division.

Wasteful Dissipation and Divorce

Generally, wasteful dissipation must involve a large sum of assets. Moreover, it may be more beneficial to show that the behavior was out of character for your spouse. For example, if your spouse always had a habit of being financially reckless and wasteful during your marriage, there is a chance the judge may not consider this wasteful dissipation. The wasted assets must also be on items that solely benefit the wasteful spouse. Therefore if the lavish purchases your spouse made also benefited you, it may not be considered wasteful dissipation.

If a judge determines that your spouse wastefully dissipated assets, you may end up with a larger share of marital assets to make up for the losses created by your spouse. However, such cases are often difficult to prove in court, so it is crucial to hire an experienced family law attorney.

Common cases of wasteful dissipation include but are not limited to:

  • Spending on an extramarital affair
  • Gambling or excessive spending
  • Buying alcohol and recreational drugs
  • Not protecting marital assets, such as a home

As mentioned above, the marital assets wasted must be substantial. For example, if your spouse spent a minimal amount of money on an extramarital affair, a judge may not consider it wasteful dissipation. However, if your spouse went on expensive vacations or stayed in pricey luxury suites while conducting the affair, the amount involved may be enough to be considered wasteful dissipation by a judge.

Reach Out to Our Divorce Team to Discuss the Details of Your Divorce Case

If your spouse wasted marital assets, you need to hire an experienced family law attorney to represent your case and ensure your interests are effectively protected. At Galmiche Law Firm, P.C., our family law team is committed to providing skilled legal guidance for each client who seeks our help. Our attorneys know what to look for in such cases and will do what is necessary to prove wasteful dissipation, so you can receive your fair share of marital assets.

Contact our legal team today at (636) 552-4841 to set up a free initial consultation and discuss the details of your divorce case.

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