Cosmetic Surgery & Divorce: Keeping Abreast of the Law

By The Law Offices of Ronald H. Kauffman of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Equitable Distribution on Friday, October 23, 2015.

Mommy makeovers during a divorce are nothing new. Recent studies shows up to 40% of women with new ‘buns’ and breasts leave their husbands. But can your husband repossess them?

Plastic surgery is now a $10 billion industry, and is increasingly common. For divorce purposes, research shows an increasing connection between plastic surgery and divorce.

One recent study suggested that up to 40% of women who undergo plastic surgery end up leaving their partner who supported (read paid) them through the surgery.

I’ve written on this topic before. When your wife’s new lips, buns and breasts are paid for with marital funds – can they be considered a marital asset subject to division?

While the Florida Supreme Court has never really tackled these big issues, the North Dakota Supreme Court finally ruled on the issue for all of us, and you can read the decision yourself:

“Do we have any lines to be drawn? Is dental work a marital asset? Is a hip replacement a marital asset?” Justice Daniel Crothers asked attorney Christina Sambor during Supreme Court arguments on Thursday.

Citing cases from Hawaii, Delaware and Kentucky, Erik Isaacson invites us to hold that breast implants are a marital asset, the value of which are subject to distribution in the division of the marital estate. We decline . . .

Luckily, Mrs. Isaacson was saved from a very painful property division! Isaacson, and other state court opinions that address cosmetic surgery in divorce, have only done so in cursory manners, without regard to the surgery value as “property.”

There is little case law or statutory guidance on the value of cosmetic surgery enhancements, or their accompanying debt. With the increasing use of cosmetic surgery, the time has come to create some.

The UK Telegraph article is available here.