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What is "Wasteful Dissipation" of Marital Assets?

There are many divorce cases where one of the parties will take steps reduce the amount of property and assets their spouse will receive after a divorce is finalized, such as use or spend assets in a wasteful manner. Wasteful dissipation is defined as the use of an asset for an illegal or inequitable purpose, including a spouse's use of community property for personal benefit when a divorce is around the corner.

In a divorce proceeding, the court will consider "contributions" to a marriage, including wasted assets to obtain a fair agreement. When deciding on how property and assets are properly divided, the court will look at each spouse's contributions, as well as the negative contributions.

What is Considered Wasteful?

In general, it means to waste marital funds in a foolish manner. One way to determine if such spending qualifies as wasteful dissipation is if the transaction was for the sole benefit of one spouse and it was frivolous.


  1. Gambling
  2. Spending excessive amounts of money on alcohol, drugs, or partying
  3. Spending excessive amounts of money on frivolous shopping
  4. Spending money on an extramarital affair
  5. Selling property or business interests for substantially less than fair value

If you suspect your soon-to-be-ex spouse of wasteful dissipation, it is imperative to obtain legal representation from an experienced lawyer. At Westover Law Group, our Murrieta divorce attorneys possess the comprehensive knowledge of California divorce law to guide you through the complexities of the divorce and discovery process. Do not risk getting an unfair divorce outcome without skilled and reliable legal counsel.

Contact us and request a free consultation today.

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