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Safeguarding Your Rights: Marital Waste

When a divorce is underway, property division can become a contentious issue. Your former better half is entitled to a fair half of the marital estate, but if your ex-spouse takes more, you may have a claim for marital waste.

As a community property state, Texas courts expect couples to create fair agreements to divide all assets not held separately. In some cases, out of spite or other cause, one spouse purposefully deprives the other of rightful assets. Points concerning marital waste include:

  • Dissipation of assets can be seen if one spouse spends down the marital state in anticipation of divorce. This might take the form of excessive spending, vacations, use of credit cards and unnecessary purchases of high-ticket items.
  • If assets are found to have been secretly funneled out of the marital estate during the marriage, to family, a romantic partner or another party, the court can act to restore that value to the innocent spouse.
  • It is not unusual for a spouse to claim the other wasted marital assets. Spending that was considered normal during a marriage can become the target of accusation during a divorce proceeding. In looking at marital waste, the court may consider the amount of money involved, the purpose of the expense and whether both spouses were informed.

Both partners have a responsibility to safeguard assets to be divided during divorce. When that does not occur, the court can provide relief to the wronged spouse. If you are concerned about loss of property, value or assets during your divorce, seek skilled legal help.

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Robert Reid McInvale
Attorney at Law

Robert Reid McInvale is an experienced family law attorney with a comprehensive practice in Lubbock. He provides dedicated and strong advocacy for his clients, helping them with all the issues surrounding their divorce, separation, child custody, and other marriage and family matters. Attorney McInvale—Reid to clients and friends—seemed destined for a law career. Born while his father was attending Emory University Law School, Reid grew up in Manchester, GA. His father was the city attorney for many years, as well as head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It is in the family blood to become lawyers and help people get justice. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall is part of the McInvale family tree.

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