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What Is The Wasteful Dissipation Of Marital Assets?


In Florida, before a couple’s divorce can be finalized, the spouses must divide their marital assets in an equitable manner. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous people, in an effort to deprive their partner of a fair share of an asset, will attempt to waste, sell, or even hide it before or after filing for divorce. This type of activity is unlawful in Florida and a person who is found to have wastefully dissipated assets can expect to face severe sanctions from the court.

Defining Dissipation

The wasteful dissipation of marital assets occurs when someone fails to preserve, or wastefully spends a marital asset either immediately prior to or during divorce. Because both spouses have an interest in marital property, whether it takes the form of income, savings, investments, or personal property, one partner’s purposeful waste or neglectful treatment of that property will undoubtedly adversely affect the other spouse, especially if the parties are attempting to divide up a marital estate. Fortunately, a spouse who believes that his or her partner is engaging in wasteful dissipation and can prove it to the court, could be awarded a larger portion of another marital asset.

Examples of Wasteful Dissipation

Wasteful dissipation can include basically any spending behavior that only benefits one spouse or doesn’t contribute to a couple’s marriage. These types of behaviors fall outside of a couple’s usual spending habits and almost always occur in close proximity to divorce. There is, however, a lot of room for debate about whether a spending decision crosses the line into wasteful dissipation. There are a few activities, however, that courts have decided do qualify as the wasteful dissipation of marital assets, including:

  • Spending marital assets on gambling;
  • Using marital assets to buy recreational drugs or alcohol;
  • Making risky investment decisions;
  • Giving substantial sums to family members or friends;
  • Going on vacation, or spending more on luxury items than usual;
  • Attempting to move marital funds into different accounts;
  • Spending significant sums on another romantic partner;
  • Allowing real estate to fall into preventable foreclosure; and
  • Spending vast sums of money prior to filing for divorce.

These are only a few of the most common examples of what wasteful dissipation looks like during divorce. However, because every marriage is unique, not only as to the dynamic between the spouses, but also in their finances, wasteful dissipation can occur in other ways. For help determining whether your spouse has wasted marital assets, reach out to our legal team today.

Speak with a Dedicated Florida Property Division Lawyer Today

One of the best ways to determine whether your own partner is wasting or hiding marital assets is to work with an experienced forensic accountant, who can identify and properly appraise all of your assets. Dedicated Florida property division lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. has the resources and connections to build a strong and able divorce team, including a forensic accountant and other financial specialists, to protect your finances during divorce. To learn more about how we can help, call us at 954-945-7591 or send us an online message today.




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