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Will dissipation affect property division in your divorce?

On Behalf of | May 27, 2022 | Property Division

In complex and high-asset Kentucky divorces, the spouses often have a lot of questions about what will happen to their property. For example, they may not understand what equitable distribution rules will mean for dividing their property with their spouse and whether they will be able to protect certain assets from division.

When one spouse believes that the actions of the other are unfair or inappropriate, they may want to know their options for holding them accountable during the divorce proceedings. Allegations of dissipation, meaning that one spouse intentionally wastes marital assets, can affect property division outcomes in Kentucky.

What is dissipation?

Dissipation comes in multiple forms. Someone giving away physical property or money without their spouse’s permission could be dissipation. Selling marital property for less than it is actually worth is another example. Spending a lot of money on frivolous things or for actions that damage the marriage, like an adulterous relationship, can also be dissipation.

Any actions that intentionally diminish the value of a marital estate at the end of the relationship could be dissipation. 

What will a judge do about dissipation?

If you can show that your ex intentionally wasted or misused marital assets as a way to punish you, damage your marital relationship or influence the divorce, the judge might factor that information into how they divide your other property or who is accountable for certain debts. You will typically need financial records validating your claims of dissipation to ensure that a judge takes your ex’s misconduct into consideration when dividing your property.

Carefully reviewing your financial records will be an important step for those facing complicated property division proceedings because of spousal misconduct.