This is the next post in my series on the impact of dating during a pending Virginia Beach divorce. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing and stressed the need to speak with an attorney if you have questions about your situation. By speaking with a lawyer sooner, rather than later, you help to prevent problems from arising in your case. In this article I will discuss a topic which often leads to disputes – the impact of moving in with a boyfriend or girlfriend before a divorce is finalized. If you require assistance then contact my office today to schedule an initial consultation.
America is a free country and people are free to live with whomever they wish. A Court will typically not state that a party is prohibited from moving their new significant other into the former marital residence (such a decision may impact child custody – a topic I will address in a later article). Where the Court will pay attention, however, is to issues relating to the impact of the situation on the marital finances.
Assets and obligations acquired during marriage are considered “marital” in nature. This means, for example, that if you move a new significant other into the former marital residence, and begin to financially support them, then the court may find that marital assets are being “wasted” on a third party. Say the person who moves in does not pay rent or contribute towards any mortgage payments. Such a situation may result in the court ordering the party, who moved in their new significant other, to pay the other spouse a sum of money equal to rent that the new partner should have paid. This is due to the fact that the case is not over and that the support of a third-party is not the responsibility of the marital union. It is, therefore, crucial to understand that financial risks are involved when it comes to moving in with a new partner.
One way to get past some of these potential problems is to make sure that you keep your finances completely separate from the person who is moving into the residence. They should contribute to all house-related expenses, including the mortgage, and you should keep meticulous records of these contributions. You should also split any other costs associated with dating the individual (such as costs associated with dining out). By making sure that the other person is paying their fair share, you avoid disputes over the use of marital assets.
If you are considering moving in with a new romantic partner then it is important to consider how it will impact your case. Contact my office today to speak with a Virginia Beach divorce attorney. We also service Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, as well as the surrounding counties of Northampton, Isle of Wight, York, and James City.