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Cases of Interest: Dissipation of Assets
National Legal Research Group, Inc.

ALASKA: Elliott v. James, 977 P.2d 727 (Alaska 1999).
The husband's poor money management during the marriage did not constitute an unreasonable depletion of marital assets for the purpose of determining how to divide the parties' property.
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ALASKA: Jones v. Jones, 942 P.2d 1133 (Alaska 1997).
The trial court unduly sanctioned the husband for his gambling losses when it awarded the wife much more than one-half of the marital property.
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ARIZONA: Gutierrez v. Gutierrez, ___ Ariz. ___, 972 P.2d 676 (Ct. App. 1999).
The evidence supported the trial court's finding that the husband wasted community funds that he withdrew from a retirement account without the wife's consent and spent in a manner unknown to her.
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COLORADO: In re Marriage of Huston, 967 P.2d 181 (Colo. Ct. App. 1998).
The parties' marital estate included the value of stock shares at the time when they were liquidated by the wife in violation of a temporary injunction against transferring property.
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DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Herron v. Johnson, 714 A.2d 783 (D.C. 1998).
A trial court which finds that marital property was dissipated must distribute the property even if it no longer exists because it has been wholly dissipated.
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FLORIDA: Ruiz v. Ruiz, 821 So. 2d 1112 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2002).
The trial court erred by leaving the husband solely responsible for debts arising from his withdrawals from his IRA, where at least part of the debts were used for marital purposes, even though the husband demonstrated a distinct lack of candor with the court throughout the proceedings.
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FLORIDA: Stock v. Stock, 693 So. 2d 1080 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1997).
The wife's transfer of real property to her mother did not involve intentional misconduct so as to constitute dissipation of a marital asset.
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FLORIDA: Siravo v. Siravo, 693 So. 2d 676 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1997).
The husband's dissipation of his business and its inventory did not justify stripping him of a proportionate share of the parties' marital assets, where the trial court dealt with his misconduct by awarding alimony based on imputed income and could impose other sanctions.
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FLORIDA: Segall v. Segall, 708 So. 2d 983 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1998).
Expenditures by the husband before any irreconcilable breakdown in the parties' marriage could not be considered dissipation of marital assets so as to justify an unequal distribution.
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ILLINOIS: In re Marriage of Carter, 317 Ill. App. 3d 546, 740 N.E.2d 82 (2000).
The circuit court was incorrect in not considering the husband's dissipation of marital assets when it equitably distributed the couple's marital property in equal proportions. In this case, the couple married in 1973. In October 1998, the wife filed for divorce on the ground of mental cruelty.
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ILLINOIS: In re Marriage of Bennett, ___ Ill. App. 3d ___, 713 N.E.2d 1278 (1999).
The trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that money spent by the husband on the children's education and medical expenses came from nonmarital assets and was therefore not a dissipation of assets.
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ILLINOIS: In re Marriage of Gurda, ___ Ill. App. 3d ___, 711 N.E.2d 339 (1999).
The husband's secret investment of marital funds in an offshore corporation that subsequently went bankrupt constituted a dissipation of marital assets.
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ILLINOIS: In re Marriage of Charles, ___ Ill. App. 3d ___, 672 N.E.2d 57 (1996).
The trial court erred by failing to address the question of dissipation of assets, where the record indicated that the husband spent large sums on his mistress and living expenses, liquidated investment assets, and failed to satisfy tax debts.
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ILLINOIS: In re Marriage of Heinze, ___ Ill. App. 3d ___, 631 N.E.2d 728 (1994).
The parties' marital estate included the amount of funds which the husband withdrew during separation and transferred to his mother as repayment of a supposed loan.
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INDIANA: Pitman v. Pitman, 721 N.E.2d 260 (Ind. Ct. App. 1999).
The husband's transfer of stock shares to his sister and her husband constituted dissipation of marital assets.
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INDIANA: In re Marriage of Coyle, 671 N.E.2d 938 (Ind. Ct. App. 1996).
Waste and misuse are the hallmarks of dissipation; in determining whether dissipation has occurred, the trial court should consider the accused spouse's intent, the purpose of and benefit from the expenditure, the timing of the transaction, and the non-dissipating spouse's consent or lack of consent.
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IOWA: In re Marriage of Burgess, 568 N.W.2d 827 (Iowa Ct. App. 1997).
The depletion of marital assets by a spouse to satisfy court-ordered obligations from a prior marriage does not constitute dissipation and is not a relevant factor to consider when dividing property.
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IOWA: In re Marriage of Bell, 576 N.W.2d 618 (Iowa Ct. App. 1998).
Gambling debts incurred by the husband after dissolution proceedings have been initiated can be treated by the court as dissipation or waste of assets.
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KANSAS: In re Marriage of Rodriguez, ___ Kan. ___, 969 P.2d 880 (1998).
The trial court has discretion to consider whether marital assets were lost as a result of the wrongful conduct of one of the spouses, even if the conduct occurs before marriage breakdown.
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KENTUCKY: Brosick v. Brosick, 974 S.W.2d 498 (Ky. Ct. App. 1998).
Once a spouse shows by a preponderance of the evidence that marital funds were dissipated, the burden of going forward shifts to the other spouse to prove that the funds were not expended for an improper purpose.
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MARYLAND: Jeffcoat v. Jeffcoat, ___ Md. App. ___, 649 A.2d 1137 (1994).
The trial court may find dissipation of assets by a preponderance of the evidence; clear and convincing evidence is not required.
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MISSOURI: Judy v. Judy, 998 S.W.2d 45 (Mo. Ct. App. 1999).
A party alleging squandering of property must present evidence of it, or no squandering will be found. A court cannot divide marital funds that are already spent, absent a finding of squandering.
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MISSOURI: Francka v. Francka, 951 S.W.2d 685 (Mo. Ct. App. 1997).
The husband was properly ordered to repay the wife for funds that he intentionally dissipated in anticipation of the dissolution action, despite his claim that he used the money for living expenses.
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MISSOURI: Morris v. Morris, 951 S.W.2d 739 (Mo. Ct. App. 1997).
Where the husband paid $75,000 to his brother for an alleged loan repayment, and immediately thereafter his brother purchased a duplex, the husband could be credited with having received $75,000 in marital assets regardless of whether he actually owned the duplex.
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MISSOURI: Lawrence v. Lawrence, 938 S.W.2d 333 (Mo. Ct. App. 1997).
A spouse who sells marital property to meet living expenses during separation does not thereby dissipate assets so as to require that the sale proceeds be included in the marital estate.
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NEVADA: Lofgren v. Lofgren, ___ Nev. ___, 926 P.2d 296 (1996).
A spouse's intentional misconduct in losing, expending, or destroying community property constitutes a compelling reason for making an unequal disposition of community property.
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NEW YORK: Grunfeld v. Grunfeld, ___ A.D.2d ___, 688 N.Y.S.2d 77 (1999).
The husband's trading in commodities and securities during the marriage did not constitute a dissipation of assets.
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NEW YORK: Gadomski v. Gadomski, ___ A.D.2d ___, 664 N.Y.S.2d 886 (1997).
The trial court did not err in awarding the wife an additional sum to compensate for the husband's wasteful investment of marital assets.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Walter v. Walter, ___ N.C. App. ___, 561 S.E.2d 571 (2002).
Where the parties agreed that certain property taken by the wife from the marital home after the date of separation would be treated as part of her share of the marital estate, any economic injury inflicted by the wife's conduct was fully repaired, and the trial court erred by using the wife's conduct as the basis for awarding the husband 54.5% of the marital estate.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Wornom v. Wornom, ___ N.C. App. ___, 485 S.E.2d 856 (1997).
The wife's secret withdrawal of funds from the parties' business before the parties' separation constituted dissipation of assets.
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PENNSYLVANIA: Twilla v. Twilla, ___ Pa. Super. ___, 664 A.2d 1020 (1995).
The wife should be compensated through an installment payment arrangement for her loss of equity in the marital home after the husband's failure to make the mortgage payments resulted in foreclosure.
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SOUTH CAROLINA: McDavid v. McDavid, ___ S.C. ___, 511 S.E.2d 365 (1999).
The husband should not have been charged with money that he spent on his failing business during the marriage, given the lack of any evidence of willful misconduct, bad faith, or intentional dissolution of marital assets.
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SOUTH CAROLINA: Dixon v. Dixon, ___ S.C. ___, 512 S.E.2d 539 (Ct. App. 1999).
The value of the husband's business should have been included in the marital estate and assessed entirely against his share of the marital estate even though the business was liquidated during the proceedings, because he set out to destroy the company for the sole purpose of depriving the wife of any interest in it.
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TEXAS: In re Marriage of DeVine, 869 S.W.2d 415 (Tex. Ct. App. 1993).
An award which held the wife accountable to the community estate for the losses attributable to her fraudulent investments and then granted the wife only 40% of the community assets because of her fraud did not constitute a double recovery for the husband.
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UTAH: Thomas v. Thomas, 987 P.2d 603 (Utah Ct. App. 1999).
The trial court refused to put a value on a business owned and operated by the husband and held that the husband's use of income from his business to pay temporary support obligations and his own living expenses was not an improper dissipation of a marital asset. In addition, the trial court did not abuse its discretion by awarding the husband the value of his premarital interest in the family home.
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UTAH: Finlayson v. Finlayson, 874 P.2d 843 (Utah Ct. App. 1994).
The trial court should equally distribute marital funds which the husband withdrew during separation, even though he used the funds to repay a marital debt to his mother.
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VIRGINIA: L.C.S. v. S.A.S., ___ Va. App. ___, 453 S.E.2d 580 (1995).
The husband's expenditure of marital funds for criminal defense fees did not constitute a dissipation of assets.
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VIRGINIA: Decker v. Decker, ___ Va. App. ___, 435 S.E.2d 407 (1993).
The husband did not engage in postseparation dissipation of marital assets by continuing his established practice of giving gifts to his family members, even though he discontinued the practice with regard to the wife's relatives once the couple separated.
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WASHINGTON: In re Marriage of Williams, ___ Wash. App. ___, 927 P.2d 679 (1996).
Classifying the wife's gambling debts as community liabilities rather than characterizing them as dissipation was not an abuse of discretion.
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