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How Does Infidelity Affect the Terms of My Divorce?

Law Office of Karen S. Brown May 30, 2022

Adultery is one of the major reasons for marital breakdowns in California and across the United States. For many individuals, finding out that their partner has cheated on them can be heartbreaking and extremely painful. In the event that it ultimately leads to marital dissolution, you may be wondering how it will affect the terms of your divorce case. An experienced California family law attorney can enlighten you about how marital misconduct affects the outcome of your divorce case and help you navigate key decisions.

An Angry Wife Showing Her Husband Some Message

The Law Office of Karen S. Brown is committed to offering knowledgeable legal guidance and strong advocacy to individuals in complicated divorce cases involving infidelity. Karen S. Brown is available to discuss your unique circumstances and help you understand the impact of infidelity on divorce matters, including property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support. Her firm is proud to serve clients across Los Angeles County, Orange County, Beverly Hills, Hancock Park, and Long Beach, California.

Divorce in California

California is a “no-fault” divorce state. This means that there is no need for the spouse seeking divorce to assign blame or prove that the other party’s actions caused the marital breakdown. The acceptable grounds for no-fault divorce in California include:

  • Irreconcilable differences

  • Incurable insanity

Marital infidelity is not one of the grounds for divorce in California. However, under certain conditions, California courts may be required to consider marital misconduct when determining spousal support, asset division, child custody, or other divorce-related matters.

Ways That Adultery Might Factor In

As previously mentioned, marital misconduct isn’t an acceptable grounds for divorce in California. Therefore, in a typical divorce case, infidelity may not affect divorce issues, such as spousal support, equitable property distribution, child custody, or child support, unless in any of the following circumstances:

Spousal Support: When awarding spousal support, the California court may use cohabitation by an unfaithful spouse as a reason to reduce the amount of alimony payments.

Dividing Assets: Also, if there is convincing evidence that the unfaithful spouse spent a significant amount of the couple’s finances and assets on funding trips, vacations, buying jewelry, and other expensive gifts for their secret mistress or lover, the court may consider this during the division of marital property to achieve equitable property distribution.

Child Custody: Additionally, the court may consider marital misconduct or infidelity when awarding child custody if the adulterer displayed indecent acts in the presence of their kids, thus exposing them to an improper situation – which wouldn’t be in the children’s best interests.

If you are considering filing for a divorce, are already amidst the process, or have been served with divorce papers, you need to consult with a knowledgeable California divorce attorney right away. Your legal counsel will work intelligently to protect your best interests and your family’s future.

Living with Someone Else While Divorce Is Pending

Cohabitation – living with another person – is among the factors that the court will consider when awarding spousal support in a California divorce case. According to California law:

“Except as otherwise agreed to by the parties in writing, there is a rebuttable presumption, affecting the burden of proof, of decreased need for spousal support if the supported party is cohabiting with a non-marital partner.”

Hence, living with someone else while the divorce is pending will reduce the amount of spousal support that will be awarded to the requesting spouse.

Get the Legal Support You Need

Filing for divorce in California often involves several complicated procedures. If you are considering a divorce and want to know how marital misconduct affects the terms of your case, consulting with a knowledgeable family law attorney is crucial to get the detailed legal support and guidance you need.

Karen S. Brown has devoted her career to offering outstanding legal services and helping individuals and families navigate the complex processes involved in their divorce cases. As your legal counsel, she can evaluate your unique situation and explore your available divorce options. Using her extensive knowledge, she will work meticulously with all parties involved to negotiate a fair divorce settlement and help resolve other divorce-related issues peacefully and quickly.

Contact the Law Office of Karen S. Brown today to schedule a simple consultation with a skilled divorce lawyer. The firm is proud to serve clients across Los Angeles County, Orange County, Beverly Hills, Hancock Park, and Long Beach, California.