Elements Of Dissipation Of Assets In A Divorce

Elements Of Dissipation Of Assets In A Divorce


Going through a divorce is not a pleasant situation for anybody and if the terms with partner are not amicable, going gets tougher. Legal assistance is often needed, especially if partner could be cheating upon you financially and this is when one seeks respite by way of asset dissipation.

Asset dissipation or dissipation of marital assets is a doctrine which refers to the extravagant spending or unreasonable borrowing or gambling or keeping assets with a third part without knowledge of the other married partner, thereby leading to marital asset wastage. For instance take a common case where husband and wife have a joint account, but once the divorce is filed, either of the partner withdraws cash from this account. Another situation is when wife chooses to hide her jewels from her husband.

Likewise if a loan is obtained by securing a joint asset and title is transferred to a third party, it is a case of asset dissipation.  Thus the phrase is coined to focus upon dissipation of assets when a couple files for divorce. Party which has not been made aware of asset transfer or asset concealing or is affected by over spending of assets, files a case in the court. This is the same family court where divorce case has been filed. Depending upon the court’s order, assets are either retained or returned to marital estate.

The legal idea behind asset dissipation is to empower affected party. Marital assets are a joint property of both husband and wife and thus when it comes to spending both should agree to the purpose. In fact legally, expenses should be related to marriage and there should not be dishonest spending. More than often, women are the once claiming justice because during the happier times they left it all for their husbands to manage. And now when times are not as amicable, women find themselves totally unaware and thus easily duped.

For an object to qualify for asset dissipation, few terms must be met. These are as below:

1.    First and foremost requirement of course is to prove in the court of law that asset was dissipated. In other words, it must be proved that asset in consideration was either lost or sold or hidden or transferred.

2.    Secondly object under consideration must have an economical value attached to it. Personal belongings or objects with which one could have emotional attachment like a photograph are not considered for the purposes.

3.    The assets will be covered in judgment if they were dissipated during or post the breakdown of marriage. Any extravagant spending or losses during the happier times are not covered during the judgment hearings.

4.    Next is again an obvious requirement. As per this one, guilty partner should have had control over the asset which is being considered dissipated. If reason of a loss happens to be out of control of the concerned spouse, plea is dismissed.

5.    Last requirement is to prove that the asset was not spent for a meaningful purpose, which in this case is related to marriage.

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