Dissipation of marital assets


#1

My STBX moved out of our home (purchased less than 4 months prior) in October. He refused to contribute to the mortgage from that point on. Because I was able to, I continued to pay the mortgage myself through April. However, the mortgage amounts to 50% of my monthly income, and I was forced to borrow money from family to cover all other living expenses for myself and our two children – including substantial medical expenses for myself and my son. (My STBX did not provide anything in the way of child support during this period either.) By April, I could no longer manage the house payments on my own and was forced to stop paying. We are clearly headed toward foreclosure (at least short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure). Does his failure to uphold his financial obligations (the mortgage is in both of our names), when he had resources sufficient to at least help out and thereby forestall default, constitute dissipation of marital assets? In the meantime, he not only supported himself but spent money beyond necessary living expenses for himself. Do I have any chance of recouping the thousands of dollars I essentially lost?


#2

Yes, his failure to contribute can be used to argue that he engaged in martial waste, and therefore you are entitled to an unequal distribution of the martial estate in your favor.


#3

What can I do re dissipation of assets (marital residence at the present time) under the following circumstances:

My estranged husband and I were married in 1990 and separated in 2009. At the time of our marriage, he had about 2k in retirement. By 2008, he had about $144k. In June, 2008, he diverted his paycheck from our joint account to an account in his name only. My father was terminally ill in the hospital and I was so upset that I didn’t give it proper attention. In September, 2008, my father died and I was devastated. My husband proclaimed that he wanted to try for a fresh start in our marriage - to get my guard down, perhaps? In October, 2008, my husband began calling a former female coworker on his cell phone with such frequency that he stupidly put her in his cell phone contact list.

In November, 2008 he began DIVERTING MONEY BEHIND MY BACK BY THE THOUSANDS and even sold jewelry via his friend’s E-Bay account behind my back.

I finally caught onto this in April, 2009 and sued him for divorce from bed and board in NC in May, 2009. We have 1 child and, after months of his “starving (both me and the child) into settlement” I entered into a consent order resolving our equitable distribution issues. With our cash gone (according to him), he signed the proceeds in the house over to me and I agreed to use the realtor he appears to have arbitrarily selected. Our listing agreement with the realtor expires in about 2 weeks. A friend recently referred me to a realtor who will stage the home for free if we sign a listing agreement her and even charge 1% less in realtor’s commission than we are contractually bound to pay with realtor #1. I sent my estranged husband a polite, but matter of fact e-mail explaining the reasons why I wanted him to join me in terminating realtor #1 and hiring realtor #2. Even though staging the home for free is an obvious benefit to the marketing and sale of the marital residence and I am the one with a greater stake in the sale, he refuses unless I reduce the asking price by 30k and add a $10k decorating allowance. Why is a $10k decorating allowance needed when we have a professional decorator/realtor who will stage the home for free?
Is this not extortion to the tune of $40k?
Seems to me that he is just trying to keep me from getting any money out of the house.
I want to advise the realtor in writing that the listing agreement will terminate upon the expiration date to prevent it from automatically renewing otherwise. The expiration date of the present listing agreement will likely pass before I can get in front of a Judge to request termination of the contract with realtor #1 and force my husband to cooperate in entering into the contract with realtor #2.
What should I do?


#4

You cannot redistribute the assets, but can return to court for assistance with getting a new listing for the home.