Recent News

Home/Blog/Divorce/5 Tips on Proving Dissipation of Marital Assets



5 Tips on Proving Dissipation of Marital Assets

In legal proceedings, especially during divorce cases, the dissipation of marital assets can significantly impact the equitable distribution of property. This happens when one spouse uses marital property for their personal benefit in a manner unrelated to the marriage when the marriage is undergoing an irretrievable breakdown. Proving dissipation can be difficult, but ensuring a fair division of assets is crucial. Here are four tips on how to prove dissipation of marital assets:

  1. Know the Elements of Proving Dissipation

Before diving into proving dissipation, it is essential to understand its key elements. In most jurisdictions, including the United States, courts follow a three-step process to determine if dissipation has occurred. Firstly, the court must establish that one spouse used or expended marital property. Secondly, it must be proven that the expenditure was not for legitimate marital purposes and instead served a personal purpose. Lastly, it must be established that the expenditure occurred when the marriage was undergoing an irretrievable breakdown. 

  1. Gather Evidence Early On

Evidence is pivotal in proving or disproving allegations in any legal proceeding. In cases of dissipation, gathering evidence as soon as possible is crucial to avoid any loss or destruction of critical information. This can include bank statements, credit card statements, receipts, and other financial records that show the expenditure of marital assets for personal gain. It is also essential to gather evidence from witnesses who may have knowledge of the expenditure or can testify to the breakdown of the marriage.

  1. Stay Level-headed and Avoid Emotional Decisions

Divorce can be an emotionally charged process, and it is understandable to feel angry or hurt when faced with the dissipation of assets. However, it is crucial to maintain a level-head and avoid making rash decisions. This includes refraining from retaliatory spending or engaging in behavior that could be seen as dissipation on your part.

  1. Seek Legal Guidance

Proving the dissipation of marital assets can be challenging and intricate, and it is crucial to seek the guidance of an experienced family law attorney. They have the knowledge, resources, and skill to navigate this complex legal issue and develop a solid strategy for gathering evidence and presenting your case in court. A skilled attorney can also provide valuable advice on settlement negotiations and ensure that your financial interests are protected throughout the divorce process. 

  1. Be Prepared for Challenges

Proving the dissipation of marital assets is not easy, and you may face challenges from the other party. They may try to dispute your evidence or argue that the expenditure was for legitimate purposes. It is crucial to be prepared for these challenges and have a strong defense against counterclaims. It is also essential to have realistic expectations and be ready for a possible settlement rather than relying solely on proving dissipation in court.

Protect Your Financial Assets Now

Proving the dissipation of marital assets can be a complex and challenging process, but it is crucial to ensure a fair division of property during divorce proceedings. By understanding the key elements of dissipation, you can increase your chances of proving it and protect your financial interests. 

If you suspect that your spouse is engaging in dissipation, contact our team at Mahoney Richmond Thurston, PLLC, for legal guidance and representation. Our experienced family law attorneys can help you navigate this complicated issue and fight for your rights during divorce.