Some couples have nice, friendly
divorces. They understand their marriage is over, and they manage to set their differences
aside and reach a fair settlement so they can move to the next chapter
of their lives.
But for other couples, it’s not that simple. Fueled by greed, jealousy,
anger, resentment, and spite, the
divorce process is a lot more war-like and contentious. Such battles may fight over ever
dollar, and even over who gets the family pets.
Spouses Motivated By Greed
As a divorce law firm that represents clients on Long Island and throughout
Nassau County, we not only deal with our share of
high-net-worth divorces, but we’ve seen spouses employ every dirty trick in the book, and
one of them is
“wasteful dissipation of marital assets.”
Wasteful dissipation of marital assets refers to the practice where a spouse
intentionally wastes or squanders marital assets, usually so their innocent
spouse will be denied their fair slice of the marital estate.
How can a spouse waste the marital assets? Oh, the possibilities are endless.
A cheating husband can pay for his girlfriend’s European vacation,
or he can virtually support her with marital funds. A wife can withdraw
$30,000 from the couple’s bank account and hand it over to her plastic
surgeon for her “Mommy Makeover,” without her husband’s
agreement, and in anticipation of being single again.
A husband can gamble thousands of dollars away in Atlantic City and his
favorite strip clubs. Or, a vengeful wife can hand over the dough so her
younger boyfriend can open his dream specialty coffee shop.
Essentially, a spiteful spouse, especially one who has a high income, can
have no problem throwing money away, figuring he or she will simply earn
the money back after the divorce. The most vindictive spouses would rather
blow the money or give it away to friends or family than have to split
it with their husbands and wives.
Do I Have Legal Recourse?
Do you suspect, or even
know for certain that your spouse is wasting marital assets? If this is the
case, all hope is not lost. Once a divorce action is filed, spouses have
some protection through what’s called an Automatic Temporary Restraining
Order (ATRO), a court-order that bars both spouses from making any major
changes in their financial statues.
If you believe your spouse has already been wasting marital assets, we
recommend adding a forensic accountant to your divorce team. They are
exceptionally skilled at finding
hidden assets, tracking down wasted marital assets (even before the divorce), and identifying
fraud. To fully explore your legal options,
contact Jason M. Barbara & Associates, P.C. to request a
free case evaluation.