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What if my spouse squanders our money during divorce?

Divorce can have a nasty habit of bringing out the worst in people. Whether brought on by the heartbreak of the dissolving relationship, or because more deeply rooted character flaws are merely being revealed by a trying time, spouses who were once the love of your life can become unrecognizable, often acting out in ways that are emotionally and materially devastating. One of the most common and destructive ways divorcing spouses may act out is by squandering your joint marital assets for their own gain and to leave you with very little to properly divide in a divorce settlement.

Take, for example, a husband who sees a divorce looming and chooses to take your jointly owned assets to buy a home or vehicle. This not only speaks to a disappointing severity of selfishness, it also illustrates a short-sighted view of the law. These kinds of hurtful choices, if they can be demonstrated to be out of step with typical spending habits and meet some other standards, can bring about harsh redresses by a court.

If you are in a situation like this, it is highly inadvisable to pursue justice for your losses on your own. A skilled lawyer with experience dealing with complex property division and other divorce issues can help you build the best case to present to a court. There are many factors that can affect a judgment, but you may be able to recover large percentages of the assets that have been unjustly stolen from you. This may even include your spouse being compelled to divest him- or herself of the property that was unjustly bought in order to leave you with less.

If you believe that you may have a legitimate dissipation of marital assets claim, you will want to begin your pursuit of justice by carefully collecting as much documentation as you can to reconstruct your financial state prior to your spouse's excessive spending. With proper documentation, a qualified attorney can help you build the strongest possible case for fair division and reclamation of assets, while helping you to keep your rights protected.

Source: Women's Divorce, "Dissipated Marital Assets," accessed Nov. 04, 2016

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