What is Wasteful Dissipation and How Can it Affect Me?

May 10, 2023
By Alternative Divorce Solutions

Wasteful dissipation refers to a situation in which one spouse wastefully spends marital assets or purposefully fails to protect or preserve marital assets in anticipation of a divorce. If the amount in question is substantial enough, it can have an impact on property division. To make up for the amount wasted, you would be entitled to a greater share of marital assets during the process of property division. However, if the amount involved is relatively minor, it would be best to let it go and focus your efforts on other matters that are worth your time.

When is Spending Considered Wasteful Dissipation?

As mentioned above, for spending to be considered wasteful dissipation, the amount spent should be noteworthy. If your spouse bought tickets to see a movie with a lover, this expenditure is obviously too minor to fight over in court. Even if your spouse took a lover on half of dozen of these somewhat inexpensive dates, it would not be enough to be considered wasteful dissipation. However, if your spouse spent thousands of dollars staying in expensive hotel rooms with a lover, this could certainly be considered wasteful dissipation.

Here are other examples of wasteful dissipation of marital assets:

  • Excessive gambling
  • Spending vast sums of money on alcohol and recreational drugs
  • Failing to protect marital assets

If your spouse was always a frivolous spender, his or her actions might not be considered wasteful dissipation if it was never a problem until after you decided to end the marriage. If your spouse’s spending habits benefited both of you, it is also unlikely to be viewed as wasteful dissipation. For example, if your spouse purchased an expensive flat-screen TV for the living room where the entire family was able to enjoy it, this is not an example of wasteful dissipation. Generally, for excessive spending to be considered wasteful dissipation, it must be done for the sole benefit of one spouse.

Wasteful dissipation is not always clear, so if you are unsure if your spouse wasted assets, it would be helpful to consult with an attorney who is experienced in handling such matters. A forensic accountant could also assist by combing through your finances and analyzing your finances. Additionally, a forensic accountant can also help discover if your spouse is hiding any assets.

Schedule a Free Consultation with the Team at Alternative Divorce Solutions!

At Alternative Divorce Solutions, we are committed to streamlining the divorce process, even under the most complicated circumstances, including divorces that involve high assets, wasteful dissipation, and hidden marital assets. Our firm is founded on the idea of providing a path toward divorce, without any unnecessary stress and excessive conflict. You can rely on our team to get to the bottom of your financial disputes, so you can move forward with a new chapter in your life.

Reach out to our office today at 949-368-2121 to schedule a free case evaluation with a knowledgeable member of our team.


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