When married Colorado couples decide to divorce, they either reach their own property division arrangements or turn to the family courts. Judges presiding over divorces will apply the Colorado equitable distribution statute to your belongings and debts to arrive at a fair solution for splitting up your marital estate.
The intense emotions that arise during divorce can provoke people into uncharacteristic behaviors. They may become very malicious toward their ex and want to punish them somehow in the divorce proceedings. Manipulating the outcome of property division arrangements is a common strategy used by those who are resentful about a divorce.
The dissipation of marital assets or the intentional diminishment of your marital estate is a common tactic used by those who want to deprive you of your fair share of marital assets. What behaviors might constitute dissipation?
If your ex took a golf club to your computer or set fire to your collectible cards, they may have caused thousands of dollars in property damage. If your spouse has intentionally damaged, destroyed or given away your property, you may be able to hold them accountable for the full financial value of those assets in the property division proceedings for your divorce.
Wasting money or taking on unnecessary debt
Going shopping for frivolous items, buying fancy meals every night for several weeks or staying at a hotel during a fight are all ways for one spouse to financially punish the other with their spending habits.
If your ex went out and spend marital income on personal items with the intent to deprive you of that money or make you responsible for half of their new debt, that may constitute dissipation as well.
Spending money on an affair
Although the Colorado family courts don’t typically do much to hold one spouse accountable for infidelity during a divorce, wasteful spending while cheating is an entirely different matter.
If you can show that your ex spent a significant amount of money on hotel rooms, gifts or vacations with their affair partner, a judge may alter the property division to clean your divorce to reflect the resources spent on a relationship that would clearly do damage to your marriage.
Identifying and qualifying the dissipation of marital assets can help those preparing for property division in a Colorado divorce secure a fair outcome.