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Does Infidelity Impact a Divorce?

California is a no-fault divorce state. A no-fault divorce state is one where you do not have to prove that your spouse did something wrong or another reason to move forward with a divorce. So even if one spouse was unfaithful, it would not be grounds for a different outcome in terms of property division, spousal support, or child custody. Instead, the couple simply needs to state that they wish to end their marriage. But could an affair still affect your divorce’s outcome?

Could Infidelity Affect a Divorce in Other Ways?

The court is focused on determining property division, spousal support, or child custody during divorce proceedings in a no-fault state. They will not focus on why the marriage failed. However, acts of infidelity can affect the way the court handles your divorce.

For example, if a new partner is negatively impacting a child’s well-being or if one spouse spent all of the couple’s savings on a lavish trip without the other spouse’s knowledge, these could be raised in court. If you have any questions about how infidelity may impact your divorce, it’s best to speak with an experienced attorney.

Financial Impacts

Let’s say one spouse had an affair that resulted in significant financial damages. If that were the case, the court might award a larger portion of the property to the innocent spouse. Similarly, if one spouse had an affair that resulted in the loss of income, the court may award spousal support to the innocent spouse. While infidelity itself is not considered in the divorce proceedings, the actions or results of the affair could affect your divorce’s outcome.

Emotional Impacts

Additionally, if one spouse began dating others and bringing them around their children, this could potentially affect child custody agreements. If the new partner is verbally, physically, or emotionally abusive, child custody may be awarded to the other parent. Or, if the infidelity resulted in one parent leaving the house for a few hours and abandoning a younger child alone, this could affect the court’s decision on custody and visitation agreements.

If you are considering a divorce, it is important to speak with an experienced divorce attorney who can advise you of your rights and options under the law. Contact Chung & Ignacio, LLP today. We’re waiting to hear from you.