This is the next post in a series of articles discussing the financial consequences to fathers who begin dating during a Las Vegas, Nevada divorce. My previous post discussed the potential impact of dating during divorce on one’s child support obligations. As discussed, child support calculations are determined based on a formulaic approach in Nevada. However, if a father’s behavior, including dating, results in reduced custody rights, the child support calculation will be higher than if they had joint physical custody of the children. In this article, I will discuss how best to respond when one’s spouse raises concerns about dating-related spending during the divorce process. If you need assistance, contact my office today to speak with a fathers’ rights lawyer.
When spouses decide to divorce, the process is often emotional and contentious and can be fraught with seemingly unfair demands for financial concessions, property divisions, or child custody arrangements. For Las Vegas dads who begin dating before their case is final, such problems can become even more challenging. It is not uncommon for one’s soon-to-be ex to find out that one is dating and suddenly demand to recoup monies spent on dates, trips, living arrangements, etc. As previously discussed in this series, because Nevada is a community property state, earnings are considered to be “joint” marital assets until the case is final. This means that extraordinary spending on one’s new love interest may, in fact, be considered marital waste and negatively impact one’s financial outcome in the divorce. It is important to be aware of this risk and to take appropriate precautions to mitigate any such claims and be prepared to respond appropriately in Court.
Consider the following examples. A man begins dating someone prior to the end of his divorce proceeding and the happy couple takes a vacation. They enjoy regular dinners at restaurants, entertainment, and they begin sharing a residence. His spouse argues that he is spending marital funds to support such activities and seeks a larger portion of the to-be-divided joint property to make up for the lost joint earnings. Anticipating such a complaint by his spouse, he equally split the cost of the trip, meals, and other activities, including equally dividing the cost of the new residence with his new partner. Assuming he can provide financial documentation to provide the division of the costs, such as credit card statements or receipts, he may be able to demonstrate that his portion of the expenses was not outside of the normal spending. Now assume he had, in fact, incurred the majority of the costs of such items, including paying rent, utilities, and to furnish the newly shared residence. The Judge may determine that the expenditures of marital property were unjustified and award a higher percentage of the divided property to his spouse. The Court’s ruling in any given case will be highly fact-specific, however, planning ahead can help protect you from unintended financial consequences.
If you need assistance with a divorce or custody proceeding, contact my office to speak with a Las Vegas fathers’ rights attorney. My practice is dedicated to family law matters and I am ready to assist you.