There are many different circumstances surrounding a divorce, and because of these, the relations between the two ex-spouses are diverse. Those who have already agreed to separate are amicable, and may only be fixing up the loose ends.
However, there are divorce petitions that are based on strong accusations. This could actually lead to a lengthy and vicious struggle. Even the distribution of property is disputed. There will be many reactions borne out of spite, and this is usually where wasteful dissipation of assets occurs.
What is Wasteful Dissipation
It is when one spouse engages in wasteful spending of the money that the couple loses shared community property. It also refers to an effort to conceal assets. These activities usually occur during the divorce proceedings as the spouse realizes that he could lose the assets. It could also be during the marriage itself, which could make it one of the reasons for divorce.
Wasteful dissipation can refer to activities like gambling, partying, drinking or taking drugs. It also includes engaging in extra-marital affairs and giving away expensive gifts. Even neglect to preserve assets (such as non-payment leading to foreclosure) can be considered as wasteful behavior. Shopping sprees or extensive traveling can be “frivolous” expenditures.
In short, if there are expenses or transactions that benefit only one of the spouses, it is wasteful.
Courses of Action
If you believe your spouse is engaging in wasteful dissipation, file a request for a temporary restraining order. You can file this along with the divorce. The court can issue a temporary restraining order even as the divorce proceeding starts. If the wasteful behavior starts after the divorce is filed, then you can request for a separate TRO at any point in the proceeding. These TROs will prevent him/her from transferring assets or withdraw huge amounts of money.
There are consequences for the spouse who wasted the money and property, and the judge will heavily consider this during the division of property. The judge may modify the computation. There will also be a deduction on the money or assets awarded. The judge can also order the spouse at fault to pay a penalty.
The court heavily frowns upon this wasteful behavior, and the judges would usually regard it as a major factor in his decision, not just with the property but also in custody and other considerations.