Archive for September, 2014

Serious Marital Misconduct

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Dissipation describes marital funds wrongfully expended, for example, when marital money was used to purchase expensive gifts or trips for a spouse’s girlfriend or boyfriend or when one spouse expended large amounts of money on something unrelated to the marriage without the knowledge or consent of the other spouse.

In such cases, the court can order the spouse who wrongfully spent the money to repay the marital estate. However, the expenditures must have occurred after the marriage was irretrievably broken down and without the acquiescence of the other spouse. Extravagant spending, gambling or excessive borrowing or fraudulent conveyance to third parties – all are dissipation.

Courts look with disfavor on the dissipation of assets, which is the most common form of economic misconduct, and some judges consider it serious marital misbehavior. Very often, when one spouse contemplates a divorce, he or she hides assets that might otherwise be part of the property settlement. In this, wives are at a disadvantage because the husbands often manage the money. The machination of dissipation becomes quite complicated and requires a forensic accountant.

One common form of dissipation is the expenditure of marital funds for a girlfriend or paramour.

Very often courts deal with dissipation via unequal distribution of the remaining marital assets in favor of the victim spouse. The most common way is to treat the dissipated assets as marital property, and then distribute what is already gone as that party’s share of the marital pie. For instance, an alienated spouse who squandered money in the casinos may find the losses negatively credited to his or her share of the marital estate.

Marriage Counseling Can Help

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Marriage counseling helps couples experiencing marital difficulties understand and resolve their problems. With the help of licensed therapist, couples communicate more effectively with each other so that they negotiate their differences and take the edge off their conflicts. Couples improve their relationships, particularly during crisis situations.

Depending on the troubles of the marriage, counseling may require only a few sessions, or sessions of at least once each week for several months of counseling.

Each partner analyzes the relationship in an attempt to identify the origin of conflicts.

The marriage counselor is a trained therapist who acts as a mediator guiding the partners who come to understand their differences. The spouses learn to compromise and solve their problems in a practical manner.

Couples normally talk about their problems with some difficulty. The marriage counselor improves communication between the spouses, encouraging them to discuss their differences with each other honestly and rationally. The counselor never takes sides in couples’ disputes but he or she may referee.

Finding the right therapist is central to effective marriage counseling. Both partners need to work with someone whom they are at ease. Even the best therapist cannot cure the ills of the marriage, so spouses must explore issues they might have been avoiding. No matter how serious the problems, marriage counseling means the partners still prize their marriage and are seeking help.

During counseling, couples often get along better because they know that they will have an opportunity to air their grievances. In counseling couples examine the bad aspects of their relationship and rediscover the good ones.

A marriage counselor is a licensed mental health professional that specializes in marriage and/or family counseling. Licensing requirements vary by state, but a couple should look for a marriage counselor or family therapist credentialed by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). In most jurisdictions, therapists must have a master’s or doctoral degree and advanced training under experts in the field.