Taking Action

Get Answers Start Your Divorce Stop Your Divorce Divorce Forms Online Support

Divorce Tools

Online Divorce Online Negotiation Custody Tracker Custody Evaluation QDRO Preparation Divorce Calendar SEE ALL

Info Categories

Contemplating Divorce Children & Divorce Divorce, Dollars & Debt Divorce Laws Divorce Process Divorce Negotiation SEE ALL

State Resources

California Florida Illinois New York Texas SEE ALL

More Information

Articles Checklists Research Center Cases of Interest Dictionary Encyclopedia Encyclopedia (pop-up) Blogs

For Professionals

Generate Clients Free Network Page Submit Articles Sign In

The Divorce Encyclopedia
Clean Hand Doctrine


Term Definition Clean Hand Doctrine - a party seeking relief cannot find advantage in his or her own wrong.
Application in Divorce Under the clean hands doctrine, courts will not grant relief to a party who seeks to use the judicial machinery if he or she has "in prior conduct...violated conscience of good faith or some other equitable principle." In short, a party seeking relief cannot find advantage in his or her own wrong.

As it applies to divorce, courts sometimes find themselves faced with considering clean hands when dividing property in a marital estate when one or both of the parties have acted improperly for the purpose of defrauding creditors, or when the property has been acquired illegally.

In general, when both spouses are involved in misconduct, such as hiding assets to defraud creditors, the property returns to the marital estate and is subject to distribution. In general, courts consider the division of property independent of any actions by aggrieved third parties or any criminal action. When only one spouse acts improperly, for example, hiding marital assets to defraud creditors, courts have the authority to deny that party a share of the asset.

Murder or attempted murder of one spouse by the other raises special considerations in divorce actions. In these cases, courts have made one-sided judgments in favor of the victim spouse, wherein the perpetrator forfeits any claim to the marital estate.

See also Forfeiture.

Add the Divorce Encyclopedia to Your Website!


The Research Center

Give Our Research Center a Try. Gain access to the same research material that lawyers often use to establish and win divorce cases. This material consists of legal journal articles and case explanation/analysis documents on a wide range of topics. If you think your situation is unique, your answers will most likely be here. In order to gain access to this area, you must establish an account, but you can search the documents before deciding.


The Divorce Source Difference

Since February 1st, 1997 (when we initially launched Divorcesource.com) we have helped millions of people contemplating or experiencing divorce. The reason we have been able to reach so many people is because we have made it a priority to listen to our customers. We have built a trust by listening and delivering what the customer needs, rather than what we think they want. This is the Divorce Source difference.


Social

Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Enter Your Zip Code:

Custody Scheduling and Tracking

Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Enter Your Zip Code:

 

Start Your Divorce File for Divorce

 

Settle Your Divorce Negotiate Your Divorce

 

Track Child Custody Track Custody & Visitation

QDRO Preparation

Limited Offer Women's Rights Manual For Divorce
Cover Price: $55.95
Your Price: $29.95
You Save: $26.00

"The Absolute Best Investment in Your Divorce"

Men's Rights Manual For Divorce
Cover Price: $55.95
Your Price: $29.95
You Save: $26.00

"Uncover Your Options and Unleash Solutions"