People sometimes spend a lot of money when seeking relief from the stress of a dying marriage. You might think it’s unfair if you notice your joint bank account dwindling or your credit card bill rising due to your spouse’s spending.
Is this spending allowed when you are divorcing? Is there anything you can do if you think your spouse has overspent?
Dissipation of assets is not allowed
A court may take action if you can prove your spouse has intentionally squandered assets after you decide to divorce. Some people do this to reduce how much their spouses will get in the divorce settlement. They would rather blow the money than have to split it with someone they no longer like.
Your spouse picking up the tab for a drunken night out with friends will not qualify. Your spouse taking their friends for a week to Jamaica might. Taking a new partner out for dinner is not grounds to claim dissipation of assets. Buying them a large diamond ring might be.
How can you stop this?
An Automatic Temporary Restraining Order (ATRO) goes into effect when you file for divorce in California. One of the things they do is forbid either of you from trying to dispose of marital assets, either by spending or hiding them.
If you believe your spouse has broken the ATRO, you will need legal help to find sufficient evidence to present your case to the divorce court. Only by considering all possibilities can you ensure you get a fair share of property in your divorce.