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High asset divorce and dissipation of marital wealth

Untangling marital assets is one of the most difficult parts of ending a New Jersey marriage. For spouses preparing for a high asset divorce, the process can be even more challenging.  Spouses who share a diverse mix of assets must take precautions to ensure that dissipation of marital wealth is not an issue in their divorce case.

Dissipation of marital wealth is a process through which one spouse intentionally acts to reduce the amount of marital assets available for division in divorce. Dissipation can take a number of different forms, some of which are more common than others. For example, many people have experienced or know someone else who is going through a scenario in which one spouse spends marital funds to support an affair with an outside party.

It is important to note that this is not the only way that dissipation of wealth can occur. In some cases, spouses who own a business can divert marital wealth or business assets into other vehicles in an effort to shield those funds from the property division process. It may take the services of a trained professional to identify and document dissipation.

For spouses in New Jersey who feel that they may have been subjected to dissipation of marital wealth, it is important to take an aggressive legal stance in the matter. Courts are often inclined to award a greater share of assets to a spouse who has been wronged at the hands of his or her partner. However, being able to offer clear and compelling proof of dissipation is critical to achieving that outcome in a high asset divorce.

Source: financial-planning.com, "Divorce: The 'dark side' of financial planning", Maddy Perkins, Oct. 3, 2017

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