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What is the Intentional Dissipation of Marital Assets in a Florida Divorce?


Financial problems are a common reason why marriages end and divorces ensue. In some cases, this happens intentionally. The intentional dissipation of marital assets refers to a situation in which one spouse intentionally spends money in order to prevent the other spouse from getting the money in a divorce. In other words, it describes a situation where one spouse intentionally removes assets from the marital estate so that those assets are no longer available to the court to distribute equitably between the two parties. In most cases, parties are prohibited from transferring assets from the marital estate once the divorce has been filed. If one party attempts to transfer assets out of the marital estate, they can be held in contempt of court. In this article, the Tampa, FL divorce lawyers at Westchase Law, P.A. will discuss the dissipation of marital assets as it pertains to Florida divorces.

What is the dissipation of marital assets in Florida? 

The dissipation of marital assets can occur in many ways. For example, if one spouse, knowing that a divorce is imminent, intentionally depletes a joint bank account, that would be an example of the intentional dissipation of marital assets. In addition, transferring valuable assets out of the marital estate before the divorce petition is filed is another example of the dissipation of marital assets. Another common example involves a spouse who is spending money on a new lover instead of contributing that money to the marital estate. Such conduct can be sanctioned by the court and impact the equitable distribution of the marital estate when the divorce is being settled.

What should I do if marital assets have been dissipated? 

Generally speaking, the courts will divide marital assets equitably between the two partners. In most cases, this means evenly, though that is not always the case. The courts will consider several factors when dividing the marital estate between the two partners. One factor they will always consider is efforts to dissipate the marital estate of assets prior to the divorce petition being filed.

If the court determines that the marital estate should be divided unevenly, it must make specific findings based on evidence presented before it. One type of evidence that a spouse can provide to the court is that the other spouse intentionally dissipated the marital estate prior to the divorce being filed. In other words, if you can establish that your former spouse has intentionally funneled assets or money out of the marital estate to avoid equitable distribution in divorce, then you can present this evidence to the court and they will divide the marital estate unequally to punish the other spouse for dissipating the marital estate.

Talk to a Tampa, FL Divorce Attorney Today 

Westchase Law, P.A. helps Tampa, FL spouses dissolve their marriages. If your spouse is attempting to deplete the marital estate, we can effectively advocate on your behalf and ensure that the court is aware of their efforts. Call our office today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin addressing your concerns right away.

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