What to Do if Your Ex is Destroying Property Before Divorce
Divorce can cause spouses to do all kinds of highly emotional, illogical things – and the destruction of marital property is just one example. Whether the property has high sentimental value or high monetary value, it always makes sense to protect your fair share as you approach your divorce. But what happens if your ex starts destroying property before your divorce? How will this affect the legal process, and what should you do?
Common Examples of Property Destruction During Divorce
Property destruction or property damage may occur in a number of different ways during a divorce. One example might include the damage of a prized vehicle. For example, many spouses have returned home to find their priceless classic car covered in spray paint. Some spouses smash the windows of these vehicles or key the body.
Spouses may not always target high-value property, but rather property with high sentimental value to their exes. For example, a vengeful or spiteful spouse might destroy a family heirloom, such as a quilt or a grandfather clock. They may target these items because they know that their destruction will cause maximum emotional strife.
One of the most extreme examples of property damage is the destruction of the family home. Spouses may do this with fire or with some kind of bulldozing equipment. Although this might sound too insane to even imagine, it has happened on numerous occasions throughout the United States. In January of 2023, a California man crashed a dump truck into his own home after learning about their impending divorce. Spouses may also fly into a violent rage, causing maximum damage to the interior of a property. This is what “Teen Mom” star Mackenzie Edwards apparently experienced after her estranged husband broke windows, furniture, and other items in their family home.
What Happens During the Divorce After Property Destruction?
If you can prove that your ex willfully and intentionally destroyed or damaged marital property, you may be able to pursue compensation for these losses during the divorce process. This destruction is known as the “wasting” or “dissipation” of assets. During the equitable distribution process, this dissipation may be taken into account by the courts. Based on the value of the lost property, a spouse who has experienced this form of misconduct can expect to receive compensation as part of the divorce agreement. For example, if a spouse destroys a vehicle worth $50,000, the other spouse may receive 50% or 100% of its value, depending on whether it was a separate or marital asset.
Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Divorce Attorney in Georgia?
If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced Atlanta divorce attorney, look no further than Kaye, Lembeck, Hitt & French. Over the years, we have helped spouses with numerous divorce-related issues – including complex property division. If your ex is destroying your property, you need to take immediate action before your losses continue. Reach out today and book your consultation to determine the most appropriate course of action.