Most spouses want to get through their Texas divorce as peaceably as possible and avoid unnecessary conflict. Reasonable negotiation efforts often prove very helpful to these spouses as they seek to divide marital property and create a fair parenting plan.

Unfortunately, some spouses have unstable or violent personalities that can turn a divorce into a nightmare. If your spouse has begun to destroy property, spend money irresponsibly, or sell or give property away, you may need to take immediate action to recover your portion of the wasted assets and prevent further waste.

File For Divorce Right Away

If neither you nor your spouse have yet filed for divorce, you need to do so right away. It is virtually impossible to protect your property without a court issuing an order placing limits on your spouse’s behavior.

Once you have filed for divorce, you need to find out whether your county allows for automatic “standing orders” that limit how money can be spent and assets managed during a divorce. If your county does not have a standing order, you can ask a judge to issue a temporary restraining order. While these are fairly common, you will need to show good reason for your request and you may need to be ready to ask for specific limitations. Temporary restraining orders are only valid for 14 days, although they can be renewed. The best thing you can do is to try to move negotiations forward quickly so you can limit your spouse’s access to joint property.

Divide Marital Property

Anything you or your spouse bought, acquired, or were given during your marriage is generally marital property, with the exclusion of inheritances and gifts given specifically to one spouse.

Accordingly, this marital property needs to be divided. Most spouses are encouraged to negotiate a property division agreement amicably, but if your spouse is destructive and unwilling to negotiate fairly, you may need to ask a judge to intervene and make decisions for you. In the meantime, you may want to move vulnerable property like pictures, heirlooms, and other valuables to a safe place where your spouse cannot destroy them. Note that this is not the same as hiding them; if a judge discovers you hid marital property, you can get in just as much trouble as a spouse who destroys it.

If your spouse has already destroyed or wasted a significant amount of marital property without your knowledge or consent, you may want to pursue a dissipation of assets claim. This may allow you to be awarded the equivalent worth of the destroyed or wasted assets in your portion of the marital property.

Schedule a Consultation with a Fort Worth Divorce Lawyer

Divorce is hard enough without any compounding factors, but when your spouse has become destructive or wasteful, you need help from an experienced Texas divorce attorney with Clark Law Group. Contact us today to learn more about what you can do to recover the value of any destroyed property and find out whether you can take action to prevent further dissipation. Call 469-717-6514.