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Dissipation of assets during Oklahoma divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2023 | Family Law |

It’s common for Oklahoma divorce courts to temporarily impose a restraining order on spousal finances or assets during the divorce process. They do this to prevent dissipating, selling, transferring or wasting marital property, especially when partners are unsure how the division process might transpire. Notwithstanding, there are circumstances where an individual can plot ahead to spend assets before the court steps in. Moreover, some behaviors during the marriage might come off as asset dissipation in the eyes of the court.

Understanding what it means by dissipation of assets

In general, asset dissipation is a selfish act that occurs when a spouse uses marital property for their benefit or advantage. This can take many forms, from overtly wasteful spending to more subtle attempts to secure personal financial gain, such as transferring funds from one bank account to another without legal authorization.

Legal consequences of dissipation of assets

Dissipation of assets is illegal in Oklahoma and greatly frowned upon by the courts. The perpetrator may be subject to steep fines or even criminal charges. Furthermore, the court may order them to reimburse the other spouse for whatever assets they dissipated.

How to protect yourself from this act

Before marriage, some measures, like signing nuptial agreements, might help to protect both spouses from financial missteps. During the marriage, if you believe the other spouse is dissipating assets, document the behavior (gather as much evidence as possible) and then discuss your marital finances later to stop this act. If divorce is imminent or you are currently in the process, consider terminating joint accounts, asking the court to issue a restraining order and researching to precisely know what you and your partner own separately and together.

It’s essential to be proactive and aware of your rights during marriage and divorce in Oklahoma. Letting this unscrupulous behavior go unchecked could cost you significantly in the future.