In some cases, one spouse will file for divorce or simply tell the other that they want to get a divorce, and that second spouse may start spending money in an uncommon way. They could start spending recklessly or buying frivolous things that they never talked about wanting before. There’s a notable shift where they just start using more of the money that they have.
They’re clearly not trying to hide this money, but are they still trying to keep it from you in the divorce? If you’ve noticed that your spouse is doing this, it could be a sign of a problem often known as the dissipation of marital assets.
What is the goal?
When someone does this, their goal is, typically, to get rid of the money before they go through asset division.
For example, say that you have a bank account and you’re both entitled to 50% of the money that is in it. If your spouse spends all of that money before it gets divided, they know that they don’t get to take their 50% away from the divorce, but neither do you.
So they may do this out of spite, in order to keep that money from you, or they may simply tell themselves that spending their half upfront is worth it because they get to spend your half as well. They’ll pay for things that they can’t get a refund for – trips, food, etc – and use money in frivolous ways so that they get some benefit out of it and you retain nothing.
If you believe your spouse has been doing this, there are often legal steps you can take to stop the money from bleeding away, so you just need to know what options you have to protect your future and your finances.