The dangers of asset depletion in a divorce

For some people in San Jose who are getting a divorce, dissipation of assets may be a concern. This happens when one spouse wastes marital assets in an attempt to keep the other spouse from getting anything of value in the divorce. California divorce summons come with an automatic temporary restraining order issued by the court that is supposed to prevent dissipation of assets among other actions. However, in some cases, a dissipation of assets may have occurred prior to the ATRO, or a person may still need to prove that the dissipation has taken place.

Money might be spent frivolously on any number of things ranging from gambling to spending it all at a strip club or a new romantic partner. Finding evidence of this might be as easy as reviewing credit card statements although it may be necessary to trace business names. Some businesses, such as strip clubs, will appear on statements with innocuous names. In more complicated cases of asset dissipation, it might be necessary to hire a forensic accountant to review financial records.

Asset depletion can endanger the financial security of a spouse who has not worked outside the home. One spouse might be in a position to earn back the wasted money, but the other might have been counting on a rightful share of marital assets for support.

Since California is a community property state, each spouse is entitled to a portion of the assets acquired after marriage. This means that a stay-at-home parent still has a claim on an asset like a retirement account despite not putting money away in it themselves. However, in a high-asset divorce, the couple might have signed a prenuptial agreement. A person may still challenge a prenup on certain grounds. For example, they might claim that they were pressured into signing or had insufficient legal counsel.