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Has your spouse’s spending suddenly changed before divorce? 

On Behalf of | May 24, 2024 | Divorce

If you have informed your spouse that you want to seek a divorce, it’s important to keep an eye on their spending of the family funds. In some cases, people will see a marked increase in spending right before divorce. This could be an example of the dissipation of marital assets.

What this means is that your spouse is trying to waste the money that both of you are entitled to. They know they’ll have to split up the family funds during the divorce. But if they can spend that money in advance, they get the full benefit of every cent they spend. They are depriving you of the financial assets that you deserve.

What happens to the assets they buy?

If the spending increase leads to the purchase of tangible assets, you may be able to recover some of the value. If your spouse bought a new car, for example, the car could always be sold so that the money could still be split up.

But your spouse will probably focus on spending in ways where the money can’t be recovered. Say they take a trip and spend thousands of dollars on flights, hotels, food, drinks and entertainment. There’s no way to return any of these purchases, so the money is lost.

This isn’t to say that you can’t spend before a divorce. Both you and your spouse can still spend money, even out of joint bank accounts or on joint credit card accounts. But it’s a deviation from normal spending that is a red flag. If you see abnormal purchases and any increases in spending, then you need to know what legal steps to take to protect your future.