Rockville, MD family law attorney Stuart Knotts Skok explains how a dissipation claim works and when you can file one.
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Yeah, so it’s a common concern or issue that comes up when people are about to separate, one or both spouses may start spending a lot of money. What’s important to do is for you to sit down with your divorce lawyer and go through the finances to see, you know, where everything is held? What kind of liabilities are out there that could be exposed? Where are your joint assets held? So that you can then come up with a plan to protect against unusual spending in a way that makes sense. You know, not just cutting off one spouse on a given day, but coming up with a plan that makes sense.
And, you know, for those cases where the money is spent and gone, you may have what’s called a dissipation claim before the court, telling the court that, you know, my spouse has spent this money for non-family purposes. You know, not on food, clothing, shelter, but on going on vacation or personal things not related to the marriage. And you’re asking the court that the court assume that money still exists when determining when to divide the assets.