For many Florida spouses, the division of marital assets during divorce will have lasting financial ramifications. This is especially true for spouses who set aside their own career goals to stay home and raise a family, and to support the career path of their husband or wife. When it comes to property division, spouses who have been out of the workforce for a significant period of time must take care to negotiate a settlement that is fair and balanced. Unfortunately, there are cases in which doing so becomes a challenge.

Some spouses will make a concerted effort to deplete marital wealth in the months leading up to a divorce. They may do so out of anger or spite, or simple greed. This is especially common with high income spouses. They may feel that spending down marital wealth will reduce the amount that their spouse will receive during divorce, while also feeling certain that they will be able to replace any losses after the divorce is complete.

Dissipation of marital assets can take place in a number of different ways, some more creative than others. Spouses might spend money on a romantic partner with whom they are having an affair. Others might simply make extravagant or irresponsible purchases. Yet another common tactic is to “invest” in a business venture of a close friend or family member, with the intent of recouping those funds once the divorce is final.

In order to address dissipation of assets during a divorce, Florida spouses must be able to prove that their partner has acted to intentionally reduce marital wealth. A forensic accountant can play a critical role in determining the extent of the depletion of marital assets. The results can be used to negotiate a fair and balanced property division, or taken to court if the parties are unable to work out the terms of their divorce settlement.

Source: Forbes, “What Is Dissipation Of Assets In Divorce And What, If Anything, Can You Do About It?“, Jeff Landers, Nov. 1, 2016