COMMENT: DISSIPATION OF MARITAL ASSETS AND PRELIMINARY INJUNCTIONS: A PREVENTIVE APPROACH TO SAFEGUARDING MARITAL ASSETS Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2006 American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers

COMMENT: DISSIPATION OF MARITAL ASSETS AND PRELIMINARY INJUNCTIONS: A PREVENTIVE APPROACH TO SAFEGUARDING MARITAL ASSETS

2006

20 J. Am. Acad. Matrimonial Law. 135

Author

Erica Driskell

Excerpt



I. Introduction
 
In an ideal world, the phrase "as long as we both shall live" means a newlywed couple remains married to the same person for their entire lives and the term divorce does not exist. In an ideal world, even if divorce exists, the couple walks away amicably with divorce papers in one hand and the settlement agreement in another.

Unfortunately, this idyllic world does not exist and a dissolution proceeding is often wrought with contentious litigation including custody battles and property disputes involving parties hiding assets, failing to disclose all marital assets in which one spouse is unaware of, or selling or conveying marital property unbeknownst to the other party. In the real world, the law defines such conduct as dissipation of marital assets in which recognition, preliminary preventive orders, and post-dissipation remedies are awarded when such conduct exists.

In a dissolution of marriage proceeding, a court must take into consideration wasted assets to provide both parties with a fair result. "Just as a court may consider positive contributions to the marriage in making an equitable distribution award, it can also consider 'negative' contributions in the form of squandering and destroying marital resources... . To allow one spouse to squander marital property is to make an equitable award impossible." 1

This article first focuses on the court-adopted definitions of dissipation and types of conduct arising to the level of dissipation of marital assets. Part III of this article then directs attention to recent measures taken by state legislatures ...
 
 
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