How to Prevent Dissipation of Assets

Arizona laws generally require spouses to divide their marital assets in an equitable manner. Unfortunately, sometimes spouses find that their partners have improperly removed some of their property. Divorce can cause some people to behave badly, especially when finances are concerned. It is important to understand how to prevent dissipation of assets before you begin the divorce process.

Understanding the Meaning of Dissipation of Assets

Dissipation of assets refers to the intentional act of removing property or money that should belong to both spouses. Dissipation can occur through spending, selling, or even hiding money or other assets. For example, a spouse may remove money from a bank account in an attempt to avoid having to share it. Another example is when a spouse unknowingly sells property and keeps the proceeds for himself.

Prevention of Dissipation of Assets

One of the best ways to prevent dissipation of assets is to keep track of all your marital assets. Know all of your bank accounts, savings plans, stocks, investments, property, and other assets that you own. Gather information about all of your known assets, and information about their value at the time of your separation. Make sure your investment advisors/financial planners know that you want to be involved in the management of any accounts along with your spouse.

Preliminary Injunction Helps Protect Property

When a person files for divorce in Arizona, a preliminary injunction is automatically entered. The injunction orders the parties not to remove or dissipate any of the marital property. It directs both spouses not to sell, give away, transfer, or conceal their community property. If one party disobeys the order, the court may disperse the couple’s assets based on this knowledge.

Finding Assets Hidden By Your Spouse

If your spouse intentionally removes marital assets, you must be able to prove it in court. One option is to utilize the services of a forensic accountant. A forensic accountant is skilled at reviewing financial information and locating discrepancies that must be investigated. A pattern of removing assets could impact the divorce settlement.

Negotiating a Property Settlement in a Divorce

The ultimate goal in a divorce is to achieve a fair settlement. In cases where a spouse has removed assets, a negotiation may help achieve reasonable results. Proof that your spouse mismanaged funds can be a factor that can be used to ensure a favorable distribution. If negotiation is not possible, the judge will review and decide the case.

Preparing for a divorce can be complex. Call the legal team at Udall Shumway PLC for the guidance you need to ensure that your rights are protected.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Dissipation of Assets, or other family law issues, please feel free to contact  480.461.5300, log on to, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.