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Adultery: What Can You Do If Your Spouse Had An Affair?

affair, adultery, divorce,

One of the hardest things for many men to understand in California divorce is the fact that the state truly is “no-fault”; in other words, it does not matter what your spouse did, even up to and including having an affair.  The only grounds for divorce in California are irreconcilable differences and incurable insanity.

What this means, practically speaking, is that your spouse’s bad behavior has no real impact on the divorce process.  It does not matter if your spouse has left you for another man; your divorce and property settlement will proceed according to the same rules. 

This is emotionally difficult for some men.  When a wife commits adultery, it is natural for the husband to want her to be “punished” by the court for that bad behavior.  However, there are only a few questions that the court may have about her new relationship:

  • Is she behaving in a way that would impact the children? The courts will look at evidence that shows that your former wife and her new boyfriend are placing the children in physical or emotional danger.  However, it can be very difficult to prove this.  Simply having an affair is not enough to spur the court to deny your former wife visitation or custody of the children.
  • Is she trying to hide money through her new relationship? If your wife is trying to transfer funds or assets into her boyfriend’s name, this could impact your property settlement and potentially interest the court.
  • Has the new boyfriend made threats against you? If you feel you are in danger from your wife’s new boyfriend, it is important to make authorities aware of this fact.

Other than these limited questions, however, California courts will not consider evidence of adultery in making decisions about your divorce, custody of your children, or property settlement.

While this may seem unfair, there is an advantage to being part of a no-fault divorce.  Instead of a long, protracted and expensive legal battle, it is relatively easy to obtain a divorce.  This will save you money in the long run on attorney’s fees.  Additionally, it allows you to move forward quickly with your life instead of being tied up with your divorce for years.

If you are facing a divorce, it is important to protect your rights.  Call the experienced family law attorneys at Men’s Legal Center in San Diego today for help.