Double Dipping

Double dipping in a family law case is when a party tries to get a double benefit in some way.   There are multiple ways this can become an issue and the purpose of this article is to help you identify it when it’s happening so you can do something in court or change your negotiating strategy appropriately.

The Example.

A frequent example of double dipping would be, for example, if parties are separated and one spouse remains in the residence with the children.   Instead of paying direct child support, the spouse who moved out might want to pay the mortgage directly.  So far so good.  But what happens when the case gets to the point of arguing about the reduction in the principal balance on the mortgage?    If the spouse who moved out wants to claim credit for paying down the mortgage and paying child support he is double dipping.

The Solution to Double Dipping.

The solution to one of these scenarios starts with being vigilant.     You should be looking for any scenario where a spouse is looking to benefit from a financial transaction in more than one way.  For example, if something is looking like a party wants a benefit in an alimony case and is using the same financial transaction for a benefit in the property case, there may be a problem with double dipping.  Usually, double dipping occurs across one or more areas of family law, such as in the property.child support scenario above, but that is not always going to be the case.