Divorce is frequently stressful. Though some divorces are amicable, often emotions run high. Perhaps one of the spouses was caught cheating, or otherwise deceived their husband or wife. One or both spouses may be so angry or upset that they do things that they would never normally do, just to “get back” at the other spouse.

One man going through divorce was so determined that his ex-wife not get a share of the marital property that he converted $500,000 of the couple’s retirement and investment accounts into gold — and, he claims, threw it in the trash.

In a deposition held in July, but apparently only made public recently, the man was asked if he had tried to get rid of the money. “Damn right I did,” he is quoted as saying. He said he bought the equivalent of $500,000 in gold.

After buying himself a nice meal with some the first shipment, the man said, he put the remaining gold in a Dumpster near a motel that he lived in after moving out of the couples’ home. As each shipment came in, he said, he put it directly in the trash. At the time, half a million dollars would have worked out to about 22 pounds of gold.

Bank records support part of the man’s story. They indicate that he went to a precious metals dealer to convert the bank account to gold coins and bars. But whether he actually disposed of the gold has not been proven. One attorney who is not connected with the case suggested that the ex-husband has the gold hidden somewhere.

Though it may be tempting, it is not a good idea to try to get rid of cash and other assets that are part of the marital property. Some of that money may belong to your spouse, causing you serious legal problems.

Source: The Colorado Springs Gazette, “Teller County man claims he dumped gold in landfill during divorce dispute,” Lance Benzel, Oct. 24, 2013