There is no doubt about it. A lot of marriages get ruined and are ended over one spouse wasted money that was for the community. Since Idaho is a community property state, any income earned by either spouse during the marriage is community income which means, it doesn’t matter who earned it, both parties are entitled to 50% of the money. That being said, of course, there are exceptions, but that is the general rule.
Who is entitled to what?
Now, if both people are entitled to 50% of the money, what happens when one of the spouses blows all their money at a blackjack table in Las Vegas or spends it all on his or her side boyfriend or girlfriend? There is a way that you can gain some of that money during the divorce process, but it is somewhat of an uphill battle.
In Idaho, there is a presumption that pretty much says that it is presumed that when one spouse makes a purchase or expenditure, that the purchase or expenditure was for the benefit of the community. We all know that is not true, but that is the law. You can overcome that presumption with certain evidence, but it is up to you to put that evidence and convince the court that it was not for the benefit of the community estate and you should be awarded more of the other, remaining assets of the marriage as reimbursement.
What do you have to show the court?
To get to that point, you have to show the court that your spouse spent the money in an improper way reducing the total amount of assets to be divided between the two of you. It is your burden to show that. If you are able to convince the court that, the court may be willing to award you more of the remaining community property such as a 60/40 or 70/30 split instead of the standard 50/50. Obviously, the different in the split that you receive will be in proportion to wrongdoing of your spouse.
When the court is looking at whether they should give you a bigger cut of the pie because your spouse wasted money, the court is going to review the following factors:
- Whether the expenditure benefited the marriage or was made for a purpose entirely unrelated to the marriage;
- The timing of the transaction;
- Whether the expenditure was excessive or de minimis, and
- whether the dissipating party intended to hide, deplete or divert a marital asset.
I know, lawyer talk, right. Essentially, the court is just going to look at what your spouse did in its entirety and determine whether they should be penalized by giving you more of the remaining property or not.
If you believe your spouse has wrongfully spent your money, don’t hesitate to contact us to see if we can help recover some of those assets. We are experienced, aggressive lawyers willing to take the fight to your soon to be ex-spouse.