The community property laws in Texas protect married couples by giving each spouse an interest in all marital income and property. You and your spouse share your resources and your income after your wedding. If you file for divorce, the courts will split your property according to state law.
The community property standard in Texas does not necessarily require an equal split of your assets. If a judge determines that splitting your assets 50/50 would be unfair because of your situation, they can make more specific, customized property division choices.
Some people feel very bitter about the idea of sharing their resources or income with their ex. Some people hide their property, while others try to reduce what they will share in the divorce. Intentionally wasting marital assets is the dissipation of marital property, and it could affect property division.
What behaviors may constitute dissipation?
Any wasteful misuse of marital assets could be dissipation in the eyes of the judge presiding over your divorce. One of the more common forms of dissipation involves the intentional destruction of marital property. If your ex tossed your belongings out on the front lawn and lit them on fire, the value of those destroyed items could influence the property division process.
The same is true if your spouse gave away your property or sold marital assets to other people for a tiny amount. If they sold your computer or video game system for $20, for example, such behavior deprives you of the full fair market value of those assets. Another example of dissipation involves spending money or accruing debt. Finally, using marital assets for behavior that damages the marital relationship, like wasting money on an extramarital affair, can also be acts of dissipation.
Financial records can help you build a case
When your spouse has destroyed property, wracked up debt or otherwise diminished your marital assets, you can ask the judge presiding over your divorce to consider that behavior when making decisions about your other assets.
Dissipation can lead to a judge awarding more to the spouse who did not waste marital property or who suffered the destruction of their personal belongings. Learning more about issues that can affect property division in high-asset Texas divorces will help you better prepare for court.