Guarding against pre-divorce asset dissipation

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2023 | High-Asset Divorce |

Dissipation of assets prior to a divorce can make it harder to obtain your fair share of them when a settlement is reached. Assets may be dissipated through gambling, sabotaging a business or incurring debts that generally benefit one party to the marriage over the other. However, there may be ways that you can protect your assets from being wasted or improperly allocated.

Keep an eye on financial records

In some cases, protecting your assets before a divorce may be a matter of keeping track of financial records. For instance, if you notice that your spouse opened a joint credit card without consulting you, you may be able to have the account frozen. If you notice that your spouse is day trading or taking other unnecessary risks with joint funds, you may be able to file a claim of dissipation in a timely manner. While you may not prevent the money from being spent, you may be able to get a portion of it back in the final settlement.

Keep assets out of the marital estate

You may be able to keep assets away from your spouse by keeping them in a trust or by accounting for them in a prenuptial agreement. For instance, putting your business in a trust means that your spouse wouldn’t have direct access to company funds. It may also ensure that your spouse has a limited ability to transfer or sell company assets for their own gain.

In a divorce settlement, you may be entitled to funds in a joint bank account, equity in a home or tangible assets held in a marital estate. In the event that assets are depleted before the divorce is finalized, you may be entitled to a portion of their value in a final settlement.