“Marital Waste” During Divorce, and Why It Is Important

September 11, 2019  | 
By: Chad Layton, Esq.

Picture of a garbage truck

“Marital Waste” is a court term used to describe the intentional “wasting” of money during a divorce process.

Generally, the assets and debts accumulated during the marriage are equitably distributed as part of the divorce process.  This provides for the spouses to each receive 50% of the assets and debts.

In order to determine that a spouse has “wasted” or dissipated marital assets, there must be a finding of intentional misconduct and marital funds being used for one spouse’s own benefit that is unrelated to the marriage.  Marital Waste is not shown by mismanagement or simple squandering of marital assets even where the other spouse disapproves.  For example, an unequal distribution of marital assets is not warranted where the 401k plan of a spouse was depleted to support the marital home during the marriage.

A classic example where marital waste does rise to the level of an unequal distribution is where one spouse engages in an extramarital affair and spends large sums of money on their boyfriend or girlfriend such as expensive jewelry or vacations.  Other forms of marital misconduct that deplete the assets of the marriage may also raise to the level of Marital Waste.  The time period where marital waste may be considered is generally up to two years before the divorce action was filed up until the final judgment of divorce is entered.

The law firm you choose to guide you through divorce should match your goals for divorce.

[i] Chadwick M. Layton is the founder and shareholder of Mindful Divorce, P.A. located in downtown Lake Worth.  Mr. Layton is also a member of the Florida Bar Family Law Section and the Susan Greenberg Family Law American Inn of Court of the Palm Beaches.

About the Author

Chadwick Layton, Esq. Collaborative Divorce AttorneyChadwick M. Layton is a marital law and divorce attorney at Mindful Divorce, P.A. in Palm Beach County, FL.  Mr. Layton is also a member of the Florida Bar Family Law Section, the Susan B. Greenberg Family Law American Inn of Court of the Palm Beaches and the Palm Beach Flagler Rotary Club.

Mindful Divorce P.A.
205 Worth Ave. Suite 303
Palm Beach, FL 33480
Phone (561) 537-8227
Office E-Mail: Chad@mindfuldivorcepa.com