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${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt} | Rebecca I. Gumaer, Attorney at Law

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What can I do if my spouse is draining our marital assets?

Even in the best of marriages, spouses will typically have changing feelings for one another as time passes. Sometimes a spouse may come to realize that the person that he or she married has changed to such a degree that the relationship is no longer healthy.

Over the years, a spouse may begin to exhibit traits, such as cruelty or aloofness, which can irrevocably damage the marriage. Or a partner could engage in harmful behaviors such as drinking, drug use, infidelity or gambling. Such destructive conduct can lead to emotional and physical abuse within the marriage. Additionally, it could also cause a severe drain on the household's finances.

The act of depleting the assets accrued during a marriage is called "dissipation." Dissipation is considered an act of fraud that occurs when one spouse squanders money or property without informing or getting consent from the other spouse. Such a wanton wasting of assets could have a profound effect on the amount of property that will be left to divide in the event of a divorce.

If you are contemplating a divorce from someone who has been depleting your shared marital assets, you may wish to contact an experienced family law attorney. You might be in a situation where time is of the essence if you want to receive a reasonable settlement. Moreover, if it can be demonstrated that your spouse engaged in dissipation, you may be entitled to receive a greater portion of the property that remains.

An attorney may be able to work with you and a forensic accountant to compile evidence of your spouse's financial transgressions. In doing so, it could be possible to get a full account of all marital assets, including those that may be hidden, and in turn, get a fair settlement.

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