Can spending on a partner affect property division in divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2024 | High-asset Divorce

California is a community property state. In a divorce, assets acquired during the marriage typically get equal division between the spouses.

However, when one spouse spends money on a new romantic partner during the marriage, it can potentially complicate the property division process.

Intermingling finances

When one spouse spends money on a new romantic partner during the marriage, it can blur the lines between separate and community property. If the spouse acquired the funds for the new partner during the marriage, those expenditures may be community property. They could be subject to division during divorce proceedings.

The matter may be clearer if the spending spouse can prove that the funds came from an account that is separate property. For example, this could be the case if the spouse had the bank account before the marriage and never put marital funds into it.

Reimbursement claims

In some cases, a spouse may seek reimbursement for expenditures the other spouse made for a new partner. This can lead to contentious disputes over the amount of money, the nature of the expenditures and whether reimbursement from the community property estate makes sense. Expenditures on a new partner could mean jewelry, clothes, a vacation or many other things.

Evidence and documentation

Proving expenditures on a new romantic partner can be challenging but important during divorce proceedings. Documentation such as bank statements, receipts and witness testimony may support claims regarding spending on a new partner.

It is possible for spouses to work toward a fair resolution that considers the complexities of expenditures on new partners. As divorce proceedings unfold, clarity and transparency are important for both parties.

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