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Recovering Funds Spent on an Extramarital Affair

If one spouse had an affair and spent large sums on hotels, gifts, vacations and expensive dinners, can the other spouse recover any of the funds?

Amy Wechsler’s Answer:

This depends on whether there is proof that these were what we call “non-marital” expenses. Credit card statements, bank records (such as canceled checks or debit card statements) can provide some of this documentation. To the extent one spouse can show that monies were spent on a third party, such as a girlfriend or boyfriend, that spouse should be able to claim a credit for a portion of what was spent. The reason the credit is not for the entire amount is because, if the funds used to pay the expenses were from marital assets, they belonged to both parties, and each party would have been entitled to perhaps half of them. So, a spouse looking for reimbursement would be entitled to half of the cost, reimbursement to a spouse would be only for that spouse’s share of what was spent.

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