Does Making It Rain = Wasting Community Assets or Reimbursement Claim in Divorce?
Making It Rain – A Case Study in Wasting of Community Assets
Many Texans (both male and female) enjoy blowing some steam off at adult entertainment establishments. Almost any Texas divorce attorney will tell you they have handled a divorce where a contentious issue was money spent at such an entertainment venue. Surely spending money at a gentleman’s club can’t hurt your divorce case, right?
Texas is a community property state, so any income earned during the marriage is a community asset that is subject to a just and right division during a divorce. Almost all couples have their vices that the community money is spent on – whether it’s shopping, cosmetic, sports, or adult-themed in nature. Texas family court judges are used to seeing community funds being spent in a manner that will surely be characterized as “wasteful” in a divorce narrative.
The nature of the expenditure is not what makes it wasteful. Money spent during the average bachelor or bachelorette party is not going to be considered a waste of community assets, regardless of how small or large the community estate may be. Habitual and large expenditures at an adult establishment, however, will peak a judge’s interest.
Spouses in Texas owe their partner a fiduciary duty, which means there is an expectation neither spouse will squander community assets. If a Texas family law judge finds that a spouse has intentionally spent an unreasonable amount of funds, without the knowledge of the other spouse, this can likely be considered a breach of the fiduciary duty or constructive fraud on the community estate.
Does this mean no boys’ (or girls’) nights are in your future? The average visit to an adult entertainment establishment is not going to be considered wasting of marital assets. If large amounts of money are spent (think a considerable chunk of a paycheck) or if there are steps taken to hide the frequency or amount spent, then the innocent spouse may have a reimbursement claim in divorce.
If you are concerned that your spouse is going to weaponize your patronage of these establishments against you in a divorce, contact the Ramos Law Group, PLLC today. The experienced legal team will review your facts and let you know your risk for a legal claim of wasting of community assets.