How can excessive spending affect a divorce?

On Behalf of | May 25, 2022 | Blog, High Asset Divorce |

Divorce is a challenging time for New Jersey couples whose marriages are coming to an end. While the emotional and personal sides of divorce can be particularly difficult, the financial aspects can have long-lasting impacts that linger well after the feelings have faded away. This may be particularly true for couples with significant wealth. After all, those who are struggling to get by still have significant challenges to face, but the division of assets may be a less complex and central part of the separation process.

Why do people spend excessively during a divorce?

For example, some people going through a high asset divorce may start to spend excessively while the process is pending. There are a number of reasons a spouse may do this. In some cases, it may simply be an expression of emotional upset. For others, however, they may want to inflate their monthly expenses in order to make a claim for higher spousal support or a greater share of certain assets in the property division stage. In general, the family courts expect people to maintain their normal standard of living and spending habits during the divorce and will look at an overall history, not merely the most recent months.

When excessive spending goes too far

Anyone may splurge on a fancy dinner, nice clothes or an expensive haircut during a divorce in order to feel better about themselves and boost their sense of attractiveness. However, when that excessive spending begins to accumulate rapidly, the other spouse may have a valid legal claim. They may be able to assert that their spouse is dissipating the marital property in order to prevent it from being fairly distributed in the divorce settlement.

There are limits on this kind of claim; the parties had to already be separated before the spending in order to claim dissipation. However, this tool can be important in curbing excessive spending, particularly while the divorce is pending.

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