If your spouse tries to hide assets while you’re going through a divorce, their goal is probably just to keep those assets 100% for themselves. For instance, people will sometimes give money to a close friend or family member so it looks like they don’t have it in their bank account anymore, and then that person will give it back when the divorce has concluded.
Dissipation of assets, on the other hand, is the overall wasting of these marital assets. The assets are not hidden or concealed. They are gone. But, if you are the other spouse, the impact is largely the same for you, and it can be very problematic.
How could this happen?
Assets can be wasted in a lot of different ways, but odds are your spouse is going to look for something that they can benefit from but that can’t be returned. They’re not going to buy a new television or a new car, because you could still claim some of the value of those assets or the assets could be returned and the money could be split back up.
Instead, they may do something like fund a gambling habit with the money or go on a luxury vacation with a new partner. They still get all the fun of gambling or vacationing in an exotic location, and they spend a lot of money doing it. They don’t bring you along, so you don’t benefit at all, but they can’t return things like plane tickets or the costs of hotel rooms and fancy dinners. In this way, they just waste as much money as they can to prevent you from getting any of it.
While dissipation of assets may be different than hiding assets, you may still have legal options that you can use to try to fight for your fair share. Make sure you know what they are.