The bitterness rose to the top. Then came time for payback in the eyes of your estranged spouse. He did not want you to get your fair share of marital assets, so he set out to hide, spend and destroy them. He would do so through the “dissipation of assets,” squandering whatever asset he could. It represents a form of financial fraud.
Dissipation is the spending or ruining of assets. Examples of dissipation of assets may include allowing the foreclosure of your home, destroying marital assets as well as the personal property of a spouse, and spending excessive money on extra-marital affairs.
It takes a conniving and vindictive person to pursue this strategy of spending and neglect. If that person is a high-earning spouse, then he knows that he has little to lose. He faces virtually no obstacles in earning back money that he spends on extra-marital affairs, gambling, frivolous overseas trips and illegal substances.
Such a scenario, though, is problematic for the lower-earning spouse, whose outlook on future earnings is not as promising. She can expect some struggles, a result that likely was the motivation for the higher-earning spouse.
Automatic temporary restraining order
What can you do if you find yourself in such a situation? An automatic temporary restraining order (ATRO) is an option. It is a restraining order that deals exclusively with property and prohibits each spouse from spending money that would disrupt the status quo of the marriage. The object of an ATRO is to keep the marital assets intact. The sale, destruction or attempt to hide the assets are forbidden.
However, you must understand that it remains challenging to prove the dissipation of assets. That is why you need reliable allies that include professionals such as a skilled attorney and a forensic accountant. The latter especially has strong instincts in uncovering even the most hard-to-find hidden assets.
With their assistance, you may be able to prove your estranged spouse spent, hid or destroyed assets. In this situation, you are a victim. These were particularly low moves on the part of your spouse. Now, you must fight back and recover your share of those marital assets.