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Can Extensive Cosmetic Surgery Be Deemed Asset Dissipation in a Texas Divorce?

Posted on in High Asset Divorce

Travis County Divorce AttorneyOne of the most contentious part of a high asset divorce is the division of assets. Although Texas is a community property state – which means all assets are divided 50/50 – it is not uncommon for some spouses to do everything they can to try to keep more of the marital estate “pie” for themselves by hiding assets. Other spouses commit asset dissipation. The legal definition of dissipation of assets is “The use of an asset for an illegal or inequitable purpose, such as a spouse’s use of community property for personal benefit when a divorce is imminent.”

In some divorces, the spouse will hide their asset dissipation, but in other cases, the spending is obvious. One of the more common obvious signs is when a spouse begins spending money from the marital estate on elective cosmetic surgery.

The Use of Marital Estate Funds for Cosmetic Surgery

It is quite common for a person going through a divorce to also begin to go through some physical changes, especially if they had been married for some time. They may begin working out more consistently, change the color of their hair, begin dressing in a different style, etc. In some cases, this self-improvement journey can also result in undergoing cosmetic surgery.

It is estimated that Americans spend more than $16 billion each year on cosmetic surgery. While there are many procedures that are fairly inexpensive and not that noticeable, there are other procedures that result in significant changes. Procedures like facelifts, tummy tucks, breast augmentation, and nose reshaping procedures can cost an average of $10,000 and more, depending on the reputation of the surgeon performing the operation.

If one spouse had one or more procedures after the couple broke up but while the divorce was pending and used marital assets to pay for the surgeries, the other spouse may claim dissipation of assets. If the court agrees, then the amount spent would become a credit to their share of the marital assets. For example, if one spouse undergoes multiple procedures to the cost of $50,000, the court could award $50,000 to the other spouse and then divide the balance of the marital estate between the two.

How to Stop Dissipation of Assets

Extensive cosmetic surgery is just one example of what the court may or may not consider an unfair spending of martial estate assets by one spouse. Other examples that may fall under this category include a spouse who is spending marital estate funds (either before or after the separation) on a significant other or a spouse who has a gambling addiction.

In order to avoid these types of issues, it is important to have your attorney file a temporary restraining order on finances which prohibits either spouse from spending or disposing of marital funds other than for normal spending (living expenses, mortgages, etc.).

Contact a Travis County Property Division Lawyer Today

If you are going through a high asset divorce, you want an aggressive Austin, TX complex divorce attorney advocating for you and protecting your marital rights. Call Powers and Kerr, PLLC at 512-610-6199 to schedule a confidential consultation and find out how our firm can help.

 

Sources:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.7.htm

https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/press-releases/americans-spent-more-than-16-billion-on-cosmetic-plastic-surgery-in-2018

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