If you’re either considering divorce or in the process of divorce in Florida, you know that a divorce is one of the most stressful times in anyone’s life. And one aspect of that stress is financial. A divorce always means a major upheaval in each party’s finances, no matter how wealthy a couple is.
Sometimes either right before a divorce or while the divorce is ongoing, one of the parties will begin to spend money at an abnormal rate. It’s important to understand what constitutes excessive spending and also what the legal ramifications are.
What is excessive spending?
Excessive spending is when one or both members of a marriage begin to spend money at a higher-than-normal rate for purposes unrelated to the marriage. In order to legally qualify as excessive spending, this spending also needs to occur while the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Keep in mind that simply spending large sums of money doesn’t qualify if that spending was already routine within the marriage. And also note that the spending must take place during a period in which it’s provable that the marriage was in serious trouble.
If those conditions aren’t met, the court is unlikely to view the spending as excessive.
Legal ramifications from excessive spending
If one partner believes the other is engaged in excessive spending, they can file a dissipation claim. It’s then on the filing party to present evidence to the court confirming the charge of excessive spending. This will require both proving that the marriage is irrevocably broken and that the other partner is spending unusually large sums of money in a way that isn’t in support of the marriage.
If the court finds the dissipation claimant’s claim to be compelling, it will now be incumbent upon the other partner to justify the spending they’ve done. If that justification isn’t valid, the court can rule against the spending partner with a monetary judgment making up for the excessive spending.
Excessive spending during a divorce is a frequent occurrence, but it has a strict definition. Not all spending qualifies, and it’s crucial to understand what is and isn’t excessive spending if you’re involved in a divorce.