Another factor considered in Equitable Distribution is the Degree to which each Spouse has Expended, Withdrawn or otherwise Disposed of Marital Assets and any prior distribution of such assets by agreement, decree or otherwise.
(This blog is another in a series of blogs regarding Equitable Distribution in Mississippi. Equitable Distribution is the method employed by the Court’s to determine how marital property is to be divided in a divorce. The basics and factors to be considered can be seen here, Marital Property; How it’s Divided (click)).
Expended, Withdrawn or Otherwise Disposed refers to multiple possibilities. One of the most common is marital waste. Marital waste is the wrongful or improper use of marital assets, though not necessarily illegal. Marital waste is basically when marital monies are used for non-marital purposes. Common examples include; monies spent on a paramour (boyfriend/girlfriend), gambling losses, monies spent on an addiction like alcohol or drugs. Bad investments may or may not be waste, it depends on the facts. Selling a marital asset for significantly less than its value is. So, if you have a Jeep worth $13,000 and sell it to your Uncle for $3,500, don’t assume you are in the clear. The Court can “balance the equities” and you will be ordered to reimburse your spouse for the their value in the asset.
Prior distribution is just when the parties divide assets prior to getting into Court. If the parties agree to a division of some assets the Court may not disturb it, but can certainly consider when dividing the remaining assets of the marital estate.
If you are married, Do Not spend money on your girlfriend/boyfriend.
Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney in Mississippi and advises his clients to not have boyfriends or girlfriends and if they do to not spend money on them.
You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms