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How to prevent asset depletion in divorce

Some Virginia residents who are getting a divorce may be concerned about asset depletion. This occurs when one spouse spends marital assets as a way to prevent the other spouse from getting them. This can be a particular problem if the spouse who is spending has a high income and the other spouse does not work outside the home. While the spending spouse can easily recover the money after divorce, the other spouse might leave the marriage with no assets.

Divorce courts in some states will issue an automatic temporary restraining order, which prohibits either spouse from making a substantive change to marital finances, but if this is not done in time, people might have to try to prove asset depletion. They may want to look over credit card statements for suspicious expenditures.

A forensic accountant might also be able to review financial documents and detect evidence of asset depletion. However, even if a paper trail is established, it is still necessary to prove that the expenditures were both unusual and substantial. People might want to weigh the costs of proving such a claim against their own anticipated financial gains and losses.

Even when asset depletion does not occur, property division can be a difficult aspect of a divorce. People may be struggling with fear about their financial security as well as anger, guilt or sadness about the divorce. A couple might want to try to negotiate an agreement with the assistance of their respective family law attorneys rather than turning to litigation, but if one suspects the other of asset depletion or hiding assets or if one person will not cooperate, this may not be possible.

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