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Can Adultery Impact Divorce Negotiations in California?


Adultery and divorce in California. The state of California recognizes no-fault divorces. A no-fault divorce means the spouse filing for divorce does not have to show any fault for their spouse. Instead, a spouse can initiate a divorce by simply stating that the couple is no longer able to get along. On a legal basis, the two grounds for asserting divorce in California are irreconcilable differences or incurable insanity. Since those are the only two grounds that are taken into account when a California court evaluates a divorce order, adultery is not a factor that will influence this decision.

However, adultery can play a role in other elements of the divorce process. That is why many people involved in this type of proceeding want to know if adultery can impact the outcome of child custody negotiations, as well as how marital assets are managed. Being aware of these kinds of issues is why it is always best to enlist the help of a Santa Rosa divorce attorney. Having a lawyer involved in this process is generally the only way to be aware of issues like this that would likely otherwise catch someone off guard who is not familiar with the laws and processes surrounding divorce in the state of California.

Adultery and its Impact on Custody

With custody, the main question that comes up about adultery is if this relationship continues after a separation occurs, will that impact the visitation or child custody rights of the adulterous spouse. Answering that question comes down to what is in the best interest of a child. In the eyes of courts in California, exposing children to non-marital relations is not viewed as having a negative impact on their best interests. Although being around a new boyfriend or girlfriend can be \hard for the spouse that was cheated on, courts do not see this type of relationship impacting children the same. That is why adultery generally does not affect child custody orders issued by a judge.

How Adultery Can Affect Marital Assets

Although adultery is unlikely to affect any decisions that are made in regards to child custody, it can have an impact on how marital assets are handled. Throughout a marriage, spouses are obligated to handle marital assets in a way that is most beneficial to their family. If one spouse is using those assets for an extramarital partner, they are not acting in the best interest of the family. That type of action is referred to as misappropriation. If a spouse can show that the spouse who committed adultery also committed misappropriation, then the non-adulterous spouse is entitled to get back half of the funds that were spent in this manner.

Keep in mind that since much of what happens during a divorce takes place outside of a courtroom, the issue of adultery may be brought up and used as a tool for various negotiations throughout the divorce. If you are involved in a divorce and want to learn more about how issues like adultery may impact your specific case, you can contact our experienced Beck Law P.C., Santa Rosa attorneys online or by calling 707-576-7175.

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