An anti-dissipation measure refers to a legal directive designed to prevent an individual from liquidating or concealing assets during divorce proceedings. The Matrimonial Property Act holds significant relevance in addressing the dissipation of joint assets in marriages governed by community property laws. Primarily, it mandates that one spouse cannot dispose of or transfer substantial assets, including real estate, securities, or financial investments, without obtaining the explicit consent of the other spouse.[1]


Furthermore, the Act prohibits a spouse from accessing funds held in the other spouse’s name, entering into credit agreements, or assuming surety obligations without obtaining consent. Additionally, it encompasses restrictions on encumbering household items or accepting payments owed to the other spouse without their explicit permission. While consent may be ratified post-action, it must be obtained individually for each Act in specific instances and witnessed by two competent individuals.


Under specific circumstances, donations made without the consent of the other spouse may be deemed permissible, as long as they do not unfairly disadvantage the interests of the non-consenting spouse. When evaluating such donations, the Court takes into account various factors including their value, purpose, and the financial status of both spouses. However, in instances where one spouse conducts transactions that violate these regulations without the knowledge of the third party, resulting in a loss to the joint estate, the affected spouse reserves the right to petition the Court for an adjustment in the division of the estate. In such cases, the Court considers the value of the dissipated property when making determinations in favour of the affected spouse.


The Court may, upon application by a spouse, order an immediate equal division of the estate or adopt a just approach if one spouse’s actions jeopardize the other’s interest without


[1] Matrimonial Property Act, s15 (9) (b).