The Assets You Destroy Could Be Your Own


We’ve all heard the stories about acts of revenge committed by a wronged party on the items of a cheating spouse. Violence is never the smart option, but in the heat of the emotional moment, it can be difficult to think rationally. Often, prized possessions become the victim of an emotional outburst. As an example, consider the recent news item about a woman who discovered (or believed) that her husband had cheated on her. Instead of attacking her husband, she lashed out at what was undoubtedly a prized possession of her husband, his red Audi R8 supercar. The story, along with some photos of the wreckage can be seen at Wife Demolishes Cheating Husband’s Audi R8: Not So Fast, Definitely Furious, 2/9/15). While it may have been emotionally gratifying for this woman to destroy something her husband treasured, and it was undoubtedly painful for her husband to see the damage caused to his $100,000+ sports car, the scorned wife may very well have cost herself a significant sum.

Chances are, the vehicle in question was a marital asset to which the wife had an equitable claim in a divorce (In other words, she would be entitled to a portion of the vehicle’s value, assuming they owned it). It is unlikely that their insurance company will cover the cost of repairing damage intentionally caused to the vehicle, which, based upon the level of damage, would be deemed a total loss. The wife committed what the Court would consider to be marital waste, and could be responsible for paying her husband one-half the value of the totaled vehicle. If the vehicle was financed or leased, she could be held solely responsible for the replacement cost or remaining loan balance owed to the lending bank or leasing company. In other words, the few minutes of gratification in destroying the vehicle could end up costing the wife a significant sum of money. Who would have the last laugh, then?

Before destroying your spouse’s prized possession, consider your interest in the value of that possession, or your potential liability for the same, in the event of a divorce (not to mention potential criminal charges, depending on the circumstances). A consultation with a divorce lawyer or a few sessions with a therapist may prove far less expensive.

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