The sad truth is that people cheat – and that cheating often leads to divorce.
But how do California alimony laws treat infidelity?
Here’s what you need to know.
California Alimony Laws and Infidelity
Divorce after infidelity is incredibly painful. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you know exactly what we’re talking about. First things first: We’re very sorry you’re going through this, and we want you to know that we’re here to fight for everything you deserve.
If you’re like many people, you need to know about spousal support – and how infidelity is covered under California alimony laws.
No-Fault Divorce and Alimony
California is a no-fault divorce state, which means you don’t have to show the court that your partner is at-fault for your split in order to obtain a divorce. You only have to show the court that you and your spouse have irreconcilable differences. That means you can’t resolve your issues and you no longer wish to continue your marriage – your relationship has gone past the point of no return, and you’re unwilling or unable to save it. That’s true even if you or your spouse had an extramarital affair; you don’t even need to bring it up in court.
When it comes to alimony, adultery doesn’t play a role. A judge can’t say, “Well, your husband cheated on you, so he’ll have to pay twice what I’d ordinarily order.” The judge will look at specific factors to determine how much alimony changes hands. Factors for alimony in California include:
- How long you were married
- Your needs based on the standard of living established during your marriage
- The other spouse’s ability to pay
- The age and health of both spouses
- Whether one spouse helped the other build a career through education, training and other means
How California Alimony Laws Deal With Infidelity
Here’s the deal: When your spouse spends your family’s money on his or her affair partner, half of that money belongs to you. California is a community property state, so all the money that your spouse spent was part of your marital estate.
If you can prove what your spouse spent on his or her affair partner, the court could order reimbursement.
On the other side of the coin, if your cheating spouse is living with his or her affair partner but is asking for spousal support, your Stockton divorce attorney can point out that he or she has a decreased need for support. If two people are living together, the expenses can be halved if they both kick in – and that probably means that your soon-to-be ex doesn’t need as much money in spousal support.
Related: Community Property Basics
Infidelity and Your Divorce
Infidelity has long-lasting effects that are tough to move past. You shouldn’t rush yourself, because only you know your healing timetable. You may find it helpful to talk to a therapist or counselor who can help you.
The loss of trust between you and your spouse can make it difficult to negotiate, find resolutions and even make good decisions about your own future. You owe it to yourself – and your kids – to practice self-care as you heal from the trauma your spouse inflicted on you.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About California Alimony Laws and Infidelity?
If you’re considering divorce because your spouse cheated, you’re not alone – we’re here for you. Call us at 209-546-6870 to schedule a consultation with a Stockton divorce attorney today. We’ll answer your questions on spousal maintenance, child custody and child support, property division and anything else you need to know.