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“Marital waste” refers to the intentional dissipation of shared assets by one party for their own benefit. This often occurs when one spouse uses shared finances or other marital property for extravagant vacations, designer clothing, exotic sports cars, and other lavish personal expenditures.
In some cases, one spouse will deliberately deplete shared assets in attempts to reduce the amount of property and wealth the other person will walk away with after divorce. However, intent to deny the other party their fair share of marital property isn’t necessarily essential for a judge to consider one spouse’s spending to be wasteful.
A spouse may still be subject to penalties or liable to receive a smaller percentage of shared property during the process of property division if their spending is considered irresponsible or abusive, regardless of their intentions. A judge may also find one spouse guilty of marital waste if they attempt to punish the other spouse by deliberately incurring large debts with the expectation that those debts would be equally split.
Gambling may give divorcing couples reason to worry about leaving the marriage with their fair share of property, especially if one spouse has developed a compulsive problem or has gambled away excessive amounts of community property. However, gambling infrequently or in small amounts may not strike a judge as marital waste or abusive spending unless one spouse has spent extravagant sums of money.
Whether you feel your spouse has unfairly gambled away shared property or you are worried that they may accuse you of intentionally dissipating funds, there is no legal formula for proving marital waste. In order to successfully make or fight accusations of marital waste, you need a skilled, experienced divorce attorney on your side.
At Peter L. Cedeño Associates, P.C., we provide legal representation for people undergoing complex divorces. Our New York City divorce attorneys understand that it can be challenging to live on a single income after divorce, making it absolutely essential that you receive your fair share of marital assets. We are here to be a stand-in between you, your spouse, and the court, in order to defend you against unfair accusations and help you make sure you leave your marriage with the property and assets you deserve.
We serve clients in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island.
Call (212) 235-1382 to speak with an experienced divorce attorney in New York City or schedule a case consultation.
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