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5 ways a spouse may minimize the value of marital assets

On Behalf of | Nov 2, 2023 | High-asset Divorce |

When a divorce involves high-value assets, it often makes a challenging situation even more complex.

Since Colorado is an equitable distribution state, some spouses may attempt various tactics to reduce the marital asset value.

1. Hiding assets

One common strategy used to diminish marital assets is the act of concealing them. A spouse may transfer funds to offshore accounts, give assets to family or friends or undervalue certain properties or investments.

2. Incurring excessive debt

Running up debt can negatively impact the marital asset pool. This tactic can artificially inflate the debt-to-asset ratio, potentially reducing the assets available for division during the divorce settlement.

3. Delaying income and bonuses

Another method employed in high-asset divorces is to delay the receipt of income, such as bonuses, until after the divorce is complete. This maneuver artificially reduces the marital estate, potentially affecting the final division of assets.

4. Selling or transferring assets at a discount

Spouses may also attempt to sell or transfer high-value assets to third parties at below-market prices. This reduces the overall asset pool and can impact the division of property.

5. Engaging in lavish spending

Spending excessively on non-essential items can deplete marital assets. A spouse may indulge in luxury purchases, extravagant vacations or lavish lifestyle choices to reduce the value of the marital estate.


With a 3.0 per 1,000 population divorce rate in 2021, Colorado continues to rank high in the dissolution of a marriage. For couples with high assets, vigilance regarding marital assets is key to achieving a fair and equitable outcome.

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