It is prudent to keep track of your finances in the lead-up to your divorce and during the proceedings. That way, you will understand when something is wrong and take appropriate action to protect your financial interests.
Among the things you should be wary of is the dissipation of marital assets by your spouse. Here is what it means and the things you need to be on the lookout for.
What is the dissipation of marital assets?
Simply put, the dissipation of marital assets is squandering property that is subject to equitable division because the marriage is over or headed there. When such wastage goes unnoticed, the court will divide what is on the table or whatever remains of the marital assets. As a result, you could get the short end of the stick.
For example, you may still share a bank account or have joint credit cards with your spouse, all of which form part of the marital estate. When your soon-to-be ex deliberately misuses the monies on frivolous expenses or makes large transactions in bad faith without involving you, it could amount to dissipation.
Protecting your finances in a divorce
Financially preparing yourself for divorce can reduce the likelihood of such occurrences where your spouse takes advantage of the situation. Cancel joint credit cards and maintain a separate bank account to avoid unnecessary issues or confusion. It is equally advisable to keep relevant records of suspicious or unusual transactions by your spouse that could point to dissipation.
Most importantly, you need to understand your legal options and the steps you should take to ensure you get what you deserve once the divorce is settled. In some cases, it is possible to recover dissipated funds from the marital estate in the spirit of equitable property division.