My Wife and I are Separated and I’m Now Dating Someone New, Is it True that the Money I’m Spending on my New Girlfriend is Community Property and my Ex is Entitled to Half?

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“My wife and I have been separated for 15 months. During this time we have had separate accounts. I have helped her with doctor bills and car repairs. She did not contribute to my household at all. 8 months ago I began seeing another woman with my wife’s full knowledge. Now that we are finalizing our divorce she claims that any money spent on my new relationship is community property and she is entitled to half of it. True?”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

Under California Family Code Section 760 “Except as otherwise provided by statute, all property, real or personal, wherever situated, acquired by a married person during the marriage while domiciled in this state is community property.” The Code further to define separate property in Section 770. “(a) Separate property of a married person includes all of the following: (1) All property owned by the person before marriage. (2) All property acquired by the person after marriage by gift,bequest, devise, or descent. (3) The rents, issues, and profits of the property described in this section.” Additionally, under Sectionn 771. “(a) The earnings and accumulations of a spouse and the minor children living with, or in the custody of, the spouse, while living separate and apart from the other spouse, are the separate property of the spouse.”

If the money you spent on the other woman was your current earnings during separation, that was your separate property which you were free to spend as you wanted. If the money you spent was depleting a community property source (like a savings account) then its not so much that you owe her for the money you spent on the other woman, but rather as part of equalization of accounts you would be required to reimburse the community for the money that should be, but is not, available for distribution as part of your dissolution of marriage.



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Author: House Attorney

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