The dissipation of assets involves spending them so that the other person cannot get them in a divorce. This is not uncommon in high asset divorce cases when one spouse does not want another spouse to get marital assets.

Since California is a community property state, it is often difficult to not have to split up assets because most will be marital property. You and your spouse will have equal rights to the assets, which may be the reasoning behind the dissipation of assets.

How it happens

Forbes explains that your spouse may start spending money recklessly just to keep it away from you. He or she may start gambling or wasting money. Despite the order the court will put in that prevents financial waste in a divorce, your spouse may find ways around it that are legal, or if he or she anticipates the order, then your spouse can take action before it goes into effect.

Why it happens

In most cases, it occurs because the spouse doing it knows he or she can easily earn the losses back after the divorce. This is especially true when one spouse earns more money than the other.

How to stop it

You should pay attention to financial statements and keep good records. If you see dissipation occurring bring it to the attention of your attorney. If you can prove what your spouse is doing, then the court will usually take that into consideration when dividing property and awarding support payments. You may not be able to stop it, but you can hold your spouse accountable.