When you file for divorce in Colorado, you and your spouse must disclose your property to one another and the courts. Unfortunately, some people will try to game this process by engaging in unethical behavior.
Some people hide assets and lie about what they own. Others will try to diminish the marital estate to reduce what they have to split with their spouse. Behavior intended to reduce the value of the marital estate is the dissipation of marital assets. It comes in many forms, but all of them can reduce what you get in a divorce.
One spouse giving away property or selling it for cheap
When someone wants to deprive their spouse of the value of physical assets, they might hold a garage sale or list the items for purchase online for pennies on the dollar. They might even give away valuable property that would have had a divisible value if it had remained part of the marital estate.
One spouse intentionally emptying accounts or incurring debt
Trying to affect the household’s financial status is another form of marital dissipation. Spending all the money in the checking account or maxing out the household credit cards right before filing for divorce are both common forms of dissipation that can drastically impact the value of a marital estate.
Use of marital assets for something that damages the marriage
Both spouses can use marital assets for personal reasons, but they should not use marital assets for something that damages the family or the marriage. An example would be spending half of a paycheck on a trip with someone they’re having an affair with. Money spent on adultery or and other activities that undermine the marriage can also constitute excessive spending.
If you can prove that your spouse wasted marital assets and show how much they wasted, you may be able to use that information in your divorce. Learning more about the factors that influence property division will help you plan for an easier divorce.