What to do about assets that were spent down after a separation?

UPDATED: Aug 30, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Aug 30, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do about assets that were spent down after a separation?

My husband and I separated over a year ago and are still in the process of filing for the divorce. At the time he moved out and got his own apartment he had $100,000 in his 401k. He has since cashed most of it out and only has about $20,000 left. Will I be entitled to 50% of the original $100,000 or only the $20,000 that is left?

Asked on August 30, 2011 Arizona


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You have what is commonly referred to as a claim that your husband has "dissipated" marital assets.  To dissipate marital assets means to destroy or waste them and spending money foolishly is considered an example of such.  If you can prove that he did in fact dissipate the $80,000 then most courts hold that you will be entitled to use the $100,000 in the calculation of marital assets for distribution and not the $20,000.  Check with an attorney in your state how the courts view this issue in case law as that will be the final say so on the matter based upon your set of facts here.  Good luck to you. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption