While never easy, divorce can be particularly difficult when infidelity is involved. Whether your spouse admitted to or lied about having an affair, the hurt and betrayal is the same. You might even grieve for the loss of the trust you once had. For some people, divorce is the only option, while others choose to stay in their relationship and work on their marriage.
Regardless of your decision, it’s important to evaluate your next steps carefully. If you have caught your spouse cheating, do not make any rash decisions. Consider the big picture logically, including all of the possible outcomes.
Questions to ask yourself
Adultery is not illegal in the state of California, and it is not a key factor that will play into your divorce. California is a no-fault divorce state. However, the mis-conduct of you and your spouse during your marriage, like hiding marital assets or domestic violence, could impact spousal support, child support, and property division.
When determining alimony, a judge might consider adultery a factor in some limited circumstances. For example, if your spouse wasted excessive marital or community funds to pay for items such as gifts and hotel bills, they might receive a smaller share of the marital assets to offset their extramarital spending.
But in most cases adultery will have little to no effect on property division. In that case, ask yourself some important questions. Are you ready to live alone, with just one income? What assets or debts are to be divided? Do you have a divorce case strategy that aligns with your goals?
Furthermore, an affair can make co-parenting difficult. Your custody issues may lean in your favor if your child or your child’s home environment has suffered because of your spouse’s affair. But if you end up sharing custody of your children, they might live part-time with your ex-spouse and their new partner. What would a custody and visitation schedule look like? How much would you have to pay or would you receive in child support?
If you’re unsure about how to proceed with your divorce, consult with a family law attorney you trust. Talking to an attorney will help you understand your options and what resources are available to you.
Doing what is best for you
Today, it’s not unusual to find spouses living together during the divorce process. Some continue living together to provide stability for their children. Others lack the finances to maintain two different residences. Regardless of which living situation works best for you, it helps to have a plan in place.
A qualified family law attorney who has extensive experience in divorce proceedings can explain how infidelity might impact your divorce. By working with a divorce attorney, you’re taking the first step towards empowering yourself.
Buncher Family Law in Irvine, California is dedicated to helping their clients get the best outcome they deserve. We combine our vast legal knowledge with compassion and caring.