Divorce When You’re Accused of Adultery: Be Prepared

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation lawyers; California Divorce MediatorsIf you find yourself faced with divorce proceedings after your your spouse found out about your relationship or fling with someone else, you’re probably wondering how much this can affect your settlement. Handled carefully, you don’t need to be taken to the cleaners for your indiscretion. First off, it helps to understand the ramifications of adultery on a divorce – both financial and legal.

Not all states treat adultery alike

The law varies depending on where you are. Understand the intricacies of divorce law and the impact on your settlement with the help of your divorce attorney. In some states like California, adultery has little or no bearing at all on the divorce. If you live in a no-fault state like California, then you should be able to proceed as normal and no proof of adultery will be demanded.

How adultery impacts Spousal Support or Alimony

If you are the one accused of adultery in a no-fault divorce state like California, there is generally no impact on the ability to seek spousal support. However, if cohabitation with that person occurs, it can affect the amount and/or ability to obtain spousal support.

Division of Financial Assets in a divorce involving Adultery

How the financial assets are divided and the terms of the settlement are in general, not influenced by whether or not one partner or both have committed adultery. The only instance where it could come into play is if the family’s finances and assets were impacted or utilized for supporting the adulterous relationship. In case the family wealth was eroded to support this relationship, the betrayed spouse will make a bid for some form of compensation.

Special circumstances

In case you contracted an STD and passed it on to your spouse, you may find yourself vulnerable to personal injury action lawsuits. It is therefore, best to come to an agreement within the purview of the divorce proceedings and settlement and prevent things from getting out of hand.

Ultimately though, the divorce settlement will be most influenced by your own emotions, guilt and feelings towards your soon to be ex spouse. If you are feeling bad about what you did, you may agree to give in a little more and let your spouse get a better deal.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”