High-asset divorces are very complex and difficult matters. It is not uncommon for one party to allege the other has either wasted or hidden assets. Additionally, the standard calculation may not be an equitable way to determine the appropriate amount of support, so the court has some discretion to deviate from the standard if it considers the appropriate factors and makes findings of fact.
A Washington appeals court recently considered waste, separate property, and a possible deviation from the standard distribution calculation in In re Marriage of Hansen. The couple married in 2001, and the decree was issued in 2015. The couple had two children. The husband owned and operated a bail bond company, which was the couple’s primary source of income. The wife did not work outside the home and had been financially dependent on her husband well before the marriage.
In 2013, the husband purchased another bail bond company, for which he paid partially with funds from shared retirement accounts. The couple incurred early withdrawal fees and taxes of more than $120,000.