What if your spouse gave assets to a lover?
  1. Home
  2.  → 
  3. Family Law
  4.  → What if your spouse gave assets to a lover?

What if your spouse gave assets to a lover?

It is often said, and correctly so, that divorce court is not set up to punish someone for having an affair. If your marriage is ending because your spouse has another lover, it’s understandable that you want to divorce, but the court doesn’t really care why you’re asking for it. They’re not going to give you more assets or make some other ruling in your favor just because you feel that you were wronged by someone close to you. What they did is not illegal.

That said, there is one situation in which your spouse’s affair could dramatically impact the property division process. This is when your spouse engaged in the dissipation of assets, which means that they were “intentionally squandering marital property” so that you couldn’t get a fair share.

For instance, maybe your spouse went on a lavish vacation the day after you filed for divorce. They bought their new partner a car, a house, and a lot of other assets. Considering the fact that they’re going to be in a relationship with this person after your marriage is officially over, it seems pretty clear that they’re just trying to transfer as many assets as they can to the other person in an effort to keep you from getting them, and to make it so that they can still benefit from those assets after the divorce. This is a tactic to circumvent the property division process.

So what does it mean for you?

While you’re not going to be able to demand that you get all of the assets that were given to the other person, you may be able to point out that those assets should have been in your spouse’s name and should have counted as marital assets under any other circumstances. This would mean that you had a right to a portion of them during the property division process. The court may rule that you still get that portion, even though your spouse says that they no longer control those assets.

You can understand how complicated this can get and how it can be a very emotional situation. If you’re involved in a complex divorce like this, it is more important than ever that you understand all of the legal options that you have. This is especially true if it’s clear that your spouse is intentionally taking action that is meant to harm you financially.