When a marriage ends, especially in the case of high-asset divorces, the division of assets can be a contentious and complex process.
Unfortunately, some spouses resort to unscrupulous tactics to dissipate marital assets, potentially leaving the other spouse at a disadvantage.
1. Overspending and extravagance
One common way a spouse may deplete marital assets is through extravagant spending. This could involve luxurious vacations, high-end shopping sprees or purchasing expensive items without the other spouse’s knowledge or consent.
2. Liquidating assets at below-market value
Selling assets at a price significantly lower than their actual market value is another strategy some spouses employ to diminish marital wealth. To protect against this, it is important to stay informed about the value of your assets and ensure that any sales happen at fair market prices.
3. Disposing of assets
Some spouses may attempt to dispose of marital assets entirely, such as selling properties or vehicles without consent or transferring ownership to third parties. Maintaining awareness of joint assets can help safeguard against this tactic.
4. Delaying financial disclosure
A less overt tactic to waste marital assets is delaying the disclosure of financial information. This can hinder the divorce process and potentially incur unnecessary legal expenses. To address this, document all communication attempts, including requests for financial disclosure.
5. Running up marital debt
In addition to depleting assets, a spouse may intentionally accumulate substantial marital debts, such as credit card bills or loans, which can negatively impact the other spouse’s financial standing.
Every year, nearly 689,000 divorces happen in the United States. Unfortunately, many of them involve one spouse trying to disrupt the equitable distribution of assets.