If you and your spouse are heading toward divorce, you may have noticed that he or she is spending money a bit differently than it's been spent in the past. If you become worried that your spouse is simply trying to burn through as much of the money as possible, it could be known as dissipation. This is the process of removing cash and assets from the estate that you own as a couple.
For example, you and your spouse may have $500,000 in the bank. When you get divorced, you assume that you're going to get $250,000, and so is your spouse. Obviously, there are many factors to consider here that could mean things are not divided that perfectly, but you're expecting roughly half.
Your spouse, knowing that the money is going to be divided, may think that the only way to benefit from that money is to spend it quickly, before going to court. If he or she blows through $100,000 in a month, for instance, you'll have lost about $50,000 that was going to go to you in the divorce.
This is a bit of a gray area, as normal spending is to be expected. You can't claim that any money your spouse spends during the months leading up to the divorce was spent just to waste it. However, if your spouse usually doesn't spend on much more than necessities, you can look for things that are out of the ordinary. This could include extra gambling, buying alcohol, going on vacation, or buying things for friends, family members, or even a new boyfriend or girlfriend.
Since the money itself can't be recovered, it's important to know your legal options in Connecticut so that you can work to regain the portion of your money that was spent. For instance, the court could simply order that the remaining cash be split up unevenly so that you still get your $250,000 and your spouse just gets $150,000.
Source: Divorce Magazine, "Dissipation of Assets in Divorce: What You Need to Know," Rosemary Frank, Aug. 03, 2016