People intentionally and subconsciously discover unique ways to deal with the emotional and social impact of divorce. For example, some individuals become devoted to their careers while others aggressively spend time with family and friends. The ultimate goal is to establish a sense of stability by seeking and enjoying positive distractions. However, this impulse can become dangerous to your divorce if you start engaging in “emotional spending.”
What Is Emotional Spending?
Emotional spending occurs when someone spends money for the sole purpose of improving their mental or emotional state. If not reigned in, emotional spending can seriously impact your divorce and lead you to financial ruin.
Divorce can stir up intense feelings of guilt, resentment, grief, and loneliness. Even if it isn’t your intention, the court may consider excessive emotional spending as “wasteful dissipation.”
The Dangers of Wasteful Dissipation
Some spouses seek vengeance against their future exes by intentionally “dissipating,” or wasting, marital assets. The offender squanders marital assets all in an effort to prevent their spouse from receiving a fair share in the divorce settlement. There have been cases where spouses have spent money on new significant others, gambling, partying, and traveling—all before the divorce settlement agreement can even be negotiated.
By dissipating marital assets, the offending spouse creates an unfair financial situation for their partner. If the wronged spouse notices suspicious behaviors, they can take legal action by hiring a forensic accountant. These professionals are trained to seek out hidden assets, analyze financial statements for inconsistencies, and prepare interrogatories that help courts determine how assets should be equitably distributed in a divorce. Consequently, the offending party may be burdened with a divorce settlement that favors the other spouse.
Dealing with Emotional Spending
By managing your emotional spending, you can secure an equitable divorce settlement agreement and protect your standard of living. It’s important to take stock of your assets and calculate how your emotional spending is impacting your debts and financial accounts. Once you have this information, you can create a balance sheet and establish a budget that provides for your basic needs. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to live a spartan lifestyle. Your budget can include some allowances for hobbies and entertainment. You just need to be careful about how much you’re spending. Another way to avoid emotional spending is to substitute shopping with alternative stress relievers. For example, some people enjoy reading, exercising, or even binge-watching enjoyable and entertaining television shows. The key is to curb emotional spending and avoid lasting financial devastation.
Circumvent Bad Habits & Prepare for the Future
Contact the West Des Moines divorce lawyers at The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw if you have any questions or concerns about this complex legal process. We can help you analyze your financial situation and develop a negotiation strategy that leads to a beneficial divorce settlement. If you are concerned that your spouse is dissipating your marital estate, we can provide legal guidance and explore your options.
Call The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw at (515) 200-7571 to schedule a free consultation.