What is Financial Misconduct and How Do You Prove it?

Financial misconduct, otherwise known as “dissipation of assets,” in a divorce is when one or both spouses spent, gave away, transferred, converted, or otherwise mismanaged money or assets that would have been subject to property division in divorce. An example of this would be when a wife goes on a business trip and decides to meet up with another man. She picks up the tab for their hotel room and even treats him to an expensive dinner and luxury car rental. She puts it all on her own personal credit card, wrongly assuming that it is her own money to spend. However, it is not. Any money between her and her husband is marital property, and as such, should be spent on the betterment of the union and the family. Because her fling was not for the betterment of the family, it would be considered dissipation of assets.

If you believe that your spouse is guilty of dissipation of assets, inform your Dallas divorce attorney right away. The legal team at Clark Law Group will advise you on what evidence you need to gather to prove your case, and even enlist the help of a forensic accountant if necessary.

Making a Dissipation Claim

When making your claim, you will only need to prove that the frivolous spending was done during the time of the marriage breakdown or that the money was spent for non-marital purposes (gifts, hotel rooms, and airfare for a lover, for instance) during the marriage. So long as you have receipts and bank statements, this should not be too difficult to prove. However, the burden of proof is on you to show that the funds were in fact allocated toward the enjoyment of an extra-marital affair, and not towards a business excursion. This is where text messages, emails, or even pictures would come in handy.

If it can be proved that your spouse is guilty of financial misconduct, the court will appropriately adjust the division of property to offset the dissipation.

It is important to keep your attorney in the loop when making a dissipation claim, as he or she can trace down just about any of your spouse’s former expenditures and produce the necessary documents to make a valid claim.

However, keep in mind that any documents—be they bank statements, withdrawal receipts, or transaction records—can be used against you, as well. If the judge discovers any dissipation on your part, no matter how slight, he or she will be inclined to offset your spouse’s settlement with what you spent, as well.

Reach Out to a Dallas Divorce Attorney

Financial misconduct is a serious concern that many divorcing individuals face. Whether one spouse wants to reduce the amount of assets that he or she owns in order to reduce the amount of possible support payments or simply wants to “get even” with a future-former-spouse, dissipation of assets is a problem that occurs more frequently than most people would believe. That does not make it acceptable, though. If you believe that your spouse was frivolously spending marital assets during your marriage or after the announcement of your divorce, inform your Dallas divorce lawyer right away. At the law offices of Clark Law Group, we can help you recover the receipts and statements necessary to prove your claim so that you may recover the full amount of property owed to you. To consult with a Dallas divorce attorney, call Clark Law Group at (214) 438-1152 today.

(image courtesy of Frank McKenna)

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