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Can Adultery Affect a Divorce Case?


It’s an unfortunate reality that many divorce cases involve adultery. The best San Diego divorce attorney might be faced with countless cases which involve some kind of adultery. Partners are usually eager to find out just how adultery might affect proceedings.

The first thing any San Diego divorce lawyer will tell you is that California is a “no-fault divorce” state. Irreconcilable differences between partners is thus sufficient grounds for divorce. The couples won’t have to testify in court about why the marriage failed. This makes the difficult process of divorce less emotionally charged. It also means that one partner’s infidelity won’t be testified about in front of a court.

The most important point here is that courts won’t consider any evidence relating to adultery. In San Diego and all of California, it simply isn’t necessary. All that’s necessary for a divorce is the agreement of both partners. California divorce law, therefore, aims at smoothing the process of separation.

Divorce is never easy, but divorce in San Diego is less stressful than in states which don’t allow no-fault divorce. The emotional stress of discussing why the marriage failed can be a huge strain. California divorce law aims to reduce this strain. While divorce will never be a pleasant experience, California divorce law aims to make it as stress-free as possible.

In some states, adultery is a crime which can carry severe penalties. It makes the divorce process much more painful as recriminations fly around the courtroom. If you’re the wronged partner, you might think that adultery should be punished in divorce proceedings. However, the emotional stress of having your marriage torn apart and analyzed probably isn’t worth it.

Alimony is one area where many estranged couples might be worried about adultery affecting a judge’s decision. However, alimony is calculated without any reference to marital misconduct. This means that adultery will have no effect on alimony payments.

Alimony payments are required whenever a judge decides one partner needs support to live at the same standard they did while married. Alimony payments are most commonly required when there’s a big difference between both partner’s income.

The important point here is that judges require alimony payments based purely on income. Adultery will have absolutely no effect.

The only cases in which judges consider marital misconduct to influence alimony is when one partner is abusive. If an abusive partner is prosecuted for their behavior, the judge has the right to increase the burden of alimony. However, adultery plays no part in this.

Adultery, therefore, has no real effect on divorce proceedings. This is true throughout California, and it’s true in San Diego.

The only exception to all the above is if shared funds are used by one partner to support an affair. If one partner is taking shared money and giving it to their extramarital partner, this could have an effect. The judge could decide that this is a misuse of shared funds and therefore require one partner to pay more. This is the only possible scenario in which adultery can affect divorce in California.


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