Generally, according to the Florida Statutes, a family law court must begin with the premise that distribution of marital assets should be equal. But, a court can order an unequal distribution of assets based upon various statutory factors. One of those factors is “the intentional dissipation, waste, depletion, or destruction of marital assets after the filing of the petition or within 2 years prior to the filing of the petition.” Pursuant to the statute, the waste must be intentional. One appellate case that is often used to describe waste is Plitchta v. Plitchta. In the Plichta case, the Second District Court of Appeals found that it is not waste if a party uses the marital asset during the pendency of the dissolution proceeding for support, living expenses and litigation costs. The trial court in Plichta found that the Husband depleted his IRA account when he used the funds for support, living expenses and litigation costs. The appellate court reversed the trial court’s ruling and ordered the trial court to reconsider the equitable distribution scheme.
If you believe that your spouse has intentionally depleted or wasted your marital assets, contact your expert family law attorney so that we may access the situation and offer advice regarding the waste or depletion of assets.