How is Dissipation Different Than Hiding Assets?

When you’re going through a divorce, you may run into conflicts regarding how to divide your assets. Married couples are supposed to split their marital assets up during the property division process, but they cannot always agree on how to do it or even what assets are owned.

In some cases, one person may intentionally try to keep those assets from their ex. If you’re worried that this could happen to you, there are two main ways that it’s done.

Hiding assets

Hiding assets simply means keeping those assets but trying to protect them from discovery by the court. For example, people will often give money away to friends or try to hide the money within a small business. They’re just trying to move funds around and then failing to report those funds so that they don’t have to divide them. A simple tactic could even be renting a safe deposit box and putting cash aside for months before the divorce.

Dissipating assets

Dissipating assets is similar, but it involves spending down those assets rather than hiding them. A spouse may decide to make frivolous purchases prior to a divorce. They’ll often do this by trying to buy things that are nonrefundable, allowing them to enjoy those benefits without having to split the cash later. An example could be taking an expensive vacation. Basically, your spouse is just trying to waste the assets so that you can’t have a portion of them.

If either of these things happens to you, make sure you know what legal options you have.