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What Role Does Cheating Having a Divorce in a No-Fault State Like California?

Posted on: November 6, 2018

What Role Does Cheating Having a Divorce in a No-Fault State Like California?

Since California is a no-fault state, cheating on a spouse has no effect on a divorce – or does it? It is true that being a no-fault state means that spouses do not have to point out each other’s flaws to prove the divorce is caused by abuse, adultery, or another serious issue. All that is required in California is for one spouse to say they want to get divorced and to file divorce papers. Both spouse do not even need to agree. However, there are cases in which cheating could impact the specifics of a divorce settlement.

The effect of infidelity on alimony

Ideally, both parties can come to an agreement on spousal support and child support. In the event that is impossible, it will go before a judge who will make a decision about how much alimony should be given. Factors they will consider include:

  • How old and healthy both spouse are.
  • How long the marriage lasted.
  • Contributions made as a homemaker or stay-at-home parent.
  • Financial contributions of one spouse to the other for education and their career.
  • Domestic violence.
  • Tax consequences for both sides.
  • If the dependent spouse will have custody.
  • The standard of living what was established during the marriage.

Did you notice that adultery was not on the list of things the judge will consider? This is because marital misconduct of any kind is not generally taken into consideration when the judge assigns spousal support and child support. After all, the purpose of spousal support is to help the dependent spouse become self-supporting – punishing them for any reason is not going to help achieve that goal.

The only exception is when one spouse has physically abused the other. If the person who was the abuser is the dependent / supported spouse then their support could be reduced or even eliminated.

The effect of infidelity on child custody

In and of itself, cheating is not going to impact child custody. However, in specific cases it can. For example, if the spouse who was cheating left their child alone overnight to cheat, or if they otherwise neglect their child to be with the new love interest. Older children can have a stay in which parent they live with. If they know one of their parents was cheating, then they may be more likely to choose the other parent.

Do you have questions about the divorce process? Contact us now

If you have questions about the divorce process or you are considering filing for divorce, then we welcome your call to Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP at 909-482-1422. You can set up a consultation during which you can find out what will most likely impact your specific case. We can provide an honest assessment of what you can most likely expect and what your best way forward is.

Kristina Kendall-Gkikas
Kendall & Gkikas LLP
143 N. Harvard Avenue, 2nd Floor
Claremont, CA, 91711 USA
909-482-1422