Can my dad pay rent on another woman’s house while still married to my mother who has dementia?

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Can my dad pay rent on another woman’s house while still married to my mother who has dementia?

My father has recently been seeing a woman. It is known that she does not have a job. I think my father is paying her rent and giving her money. My mother is in a residential facility and has been diagnosed with frontal temporal dementia and is not capable of handling her own defense. How do I protect my mother’s rights?

Asked on June 16, 2012 under Family Law, California

Answers:

Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

As my colleague pointed out, a conservatorship is really the only option here.  You have to petition the court to appoint a conservator of your mother's estate.  That conservator would then control her half of the community property.  My guess though is that simply paying rent for another woman is not dissipation of the estate.  If your father is spending more than half he is making on a party outside the marriage, then you have a good argument he is dissipating the estate, otherwise a conservator may not be appointed. 

Best of luck.

If you are in Ventura County, feel free to contact me.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for the situation here.  What your Father is doing is known as "dissipating" marital assets by using them to take care of some one other than your Mother or the children, family, etc.  You may want to speak with an attorney about becoming the conservator of your Mother's estate in order to protect her and her assets.  Good luck.


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