During a marriage, couples can accumulate hundreds or even thousands of photographs and videos. Unlike other pieces of personal property such as linens or knick knacks, these photographs and videos cannot be replaced once destroyed. Like other items in a court order, parties may face severe consequences if they destroy this type of material in violation of a final divorce decree.
In C.S. v. B.S., this is exactly what happened. In that case, the parties had been married for 25 years. The martial settlement agreement discussed the photographs taken during the parties’ marriage. The terms of the MSA provided that the husband would be allowed access to the photos in order to make his own copies. After the divorce was finalized, he contacted his former wife in order to make arrangements to make copies of the family photos. The ex-wife informed him that she had disposed of all of the family photographs because he had committed adultery, and she did not want the reminder of him. The husband then filed a motion with the court, seeking enforcement of his right to the photos and also for damages for the wife’s breach of the MSA.