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Does Cheating Affect a Divorce in California?

How Does Adultery Affect Divorce in California?

If you are in the midst of a divorce that was sparked by infidelity, you might be concerned about the possible impact an affair might have on your situation. It is a common myth that, if a spouse cheats, it means he or she could lose everything, but this is far from the case. Continue reading to find out if cheating may factor into any decisions regarding asset division or alimony in California.

All states, including California, offer some form of no-fault divorce. You may get a divorce for two reasons:

  1. One spouse suffers from incurable insanity
  2. Irreconcilable differences

Irreconcilable differences are purposefully broad, covering a wide range of issues that might exist in marriage from fundamental disagreements or other irreparable damages within the relationship. You do not have to testify why the marriage failed as long as one or both parties believe that the marriage cannot be salvaged. As such, a court will not consider evidence of adultery or other forms of fault. All that matters is the failure of the marriage, rather than the reasoning behind it.

Does Cheating Impact Spousal Support?

A judge’s decision regarding spousal support, or alimony as it is sometimes referred to, must be fair and reasonable. A receiving spouse must prove a need for support, while the paying spouse has to have the ability to pay it. Additionally, here are some other factors that are considered when a judge decides whether or not to grant spousal support:

  • The duration of the marriage
  • The needs of each spouse, which is based on the shared standard of living they had while married
  • Each spouse’s age and health
  • Debts and assets, both separate and marital
  • Any minor children involved
  • History of abuse between the spouses
  • Balance of hardships to each spouse
  • Contributions a receiving spouse made to a paying spouse’s education, training, or career

As you can see, adultery and other forms of misconduct, except abuse or domestic violence, are not factors considered in spousal support. An award of spousal support is not to be used as retaliation or punishment, but rather to ensure that neither spouse ends up living in poverty simply due to the end of a marriage. If abusive behavior was a factor, however, a judge can reduce or eliminate spousal support that might have otherwise been granted.

Ready to Help You with All Aspects of Your Divorce

Divorce is often a contentious and overwhelming experience. If you have just been served with divorce papers, are considering divorce, or are already in the process of navigating your way through the process, the San Diego divorce lawyers at Cage & Miles, LLP can help you move forward with as little stress as possible. This is undoubtedly a tough time for you, but having skilled representation at your side can help smooth out the bumps you might encounter along the way. Our experienced legal team is committed to working tirelessly to limit the impact a divorce might have on your family, particularly if there are young, impressionable children involved. You should not have to endure this alone.

We can represent a wide range of divorce matters, including contested and uncontested divorce, high net worth divorce, mediation, child custody, child support, spousal support, property division, and military divorce. When it comes to complex divorce proceedings and other family-related legal matters, choosing a knowledgeable attorney is critical in ensuring the best possible outcome.

Contact us now to request a confidential consultation to confidentially discuss your case with a member of our legal team.