Couple having dinnerThis is the next post in my series on how dating new partners can impact a pending Virginia divorce. My last article discussed the impact of moving in a boyfriend or girlfriend while a divorce is pending. It is important to understand that the Court may see such a situation as a “waste” of marital resources. If the Court finds that marital assets are being wasted then it can impact how the Judge calculates a final division of assets. If you have a pending case then it is important that you discuss, with your attorney, the decision of whether or not to move in with someone. In this article I will discuss how spending money on dating can also impact a case. If you need assistance then contact my office today to speak with a divorce and child custody lawyer.

As I discussed in my last article, any money one earns while their case is pending is considered a “marital asset.” If the Court believes that marital assets are being wasted, a judge will likely require that half of any such money be reimbursed to the other party. This means that your dating life can potentially interfere with the resolution of your case. There are two important aspects to this issue and I will discuss each in turn.

If you spend extravagantly on a new significant other, the Court will likely view such spending as “waste.” Examples of such spending can include regularly eating out with you picking up the entire tab each time, lavish spending on gifts, taking excessive vacations in which you pay your significant other’s way, etc. A judge would likely view such spending as something for which the other party in your case must be partially reimbursed. While it is understandable that one may be eager to resume their dating life, it is important to recognize the need for financially responsible behavior while the case is pending.

The Court is unlikely to find reasonable expenses to be wasteful even if they involve dating. The Court will not hold it against you if you spend reasonable amounts of money on entertainment while your case is pending. This entertainment can include spending time with a new significant other. While every case is fact specific it would likely not be seen as unreasonable, for example, if you buy someone dinner but they pay for the movies the next time you go out. When deciding whether it is appropriate to spend money on another relationship it is important to keep these types of issues in mind.

If you have questions about how you may use your money during a pending divorce then it is important to consult with a family law attorney. As a divorce lawyer I regularly handle such matters. Contact my office today to schedule an initial consultation.