In the state of California, when one person files for divorce, a court will issue an automatic temporary restraining order on both parties. Among other things, this is intended to prevent a spouse from hiding or dissipating assets in an effort to keep them from the other spouse. For example, one spouse might make a high salary while the other spouse stays home with the children. The high-earning spouse might attempt to spend as much money as possible to prevent having to share assets with their spouse. They may be able to easily make the money back after the divorce while the other spouse may face financial devastation.

If the divorce has been in the works for some time, one spouse may have had time to dissipate assets before the ATRO is put into place. If this occurs, then the other spouse may want to consider whether it is worth the cost of pursuing a claim of dissipation of assets because it can be expensive and hard to prove.

The individual might want to hire a forensic accountant to look over financial records and find evidence of asset dissipation. It is also necessary to demonstrate that the spending was frivolous, unusual and substantial.

People in a high-asset divorce may want to take a number of other steps to protect themselves financially. A person who is expecting to pay support might want to make sure that the amount that is ordered is fair while recipients may want to ensure that the amount is enough to support themselves while they prepare to enter the workforce. They couple may want to negotiate a property division agreement with the assistance of their respective attorneys rather than have the judge make the decision, since they may be happier with the outcome.