You did not expect your marriage to come to this; one filled with deception and mistrust. You are well aware, too, that your spouse has been spending down on your marital assets. And you want to get him to stop. Those assets legally belong to you, too.
A beneficial tool to consider is a legal document known as an automatic temporary restraining order (ATRO). This is a restraining order that deals with property and can prevent the wasteful and, sometimes, vengeful dissipation of assets.
Prevents both spouses from spending and hiding assets
An ATRO, in essence, places a freeze on marital assets until the divorce becomes final. This court order prevents both spouses from doing things such as:
- Spending, destroying and hiding assets
- Changing bank accounts
- Changing beneficiaries on wills, retirement accounts and life insurance policies
- Withdrawing funds from retirement accounts
- Selling or borrowing against property
This legal document represents a security device that keeps marital assets intact, preventing either spouse from spending assets and thus upsetting the status quo of the marriage.
Insight from a forensic accountant
Since an ATRO often has ties to divorce situations involving the dissipation of assets, you also must consider another resource: a forensic accountant.
Working with a divorce attorney, a forensic accountant knows every dirty trick attempted by someone who wants to hide money. In reviewing financial records, this professional can uncover suspicious activity such as large cash acquisitions, unreported income and bogus debt.
Two helpful tools
Together, an ATRO and forensic accountant can help you in your attempt to prevent the dissipation of assets. With an ATRO in place, your spouse cannot withdraw money without permission. And with the guidance of a forensic accountant, you just may be able to prove the dissipation of assets.