How Cheating Affects a California Divorce

Jul 16, 2021 Divorce

Divorce can be difficult, and that’s especially true when you’ve decided to divorce after catching your spouse cheating. However, while you may be ready to throw the book at them and vow to take them for everything they are worth, California law has a different idea in mind. While as a divorcing spouse, you are certainly entitled to alimony and child support payments if applicable, the fact that your former partner cheated may not necessarily entitle you to more. An experienced Irvine divorce attorney can help you determine what you want out of your divorce and fight to get it. 

Understanding Divorce in California

To divorce in California, you will have to acknowledge that there is a legal reason for doing so. These reasons include either that 1) your spouse has incurable insanity, or 2) there are irreconcilable differences. Such differences would amount to disagreements with no resolution, and California law does not assign blame to one party or the other. Crucially, this explains why cheating on your spouse doesn’t necessarily amount to one party having more ‘fault’ than the other, which is why arguing for more money because your spouse cheated isn’t always a successful approach.

Is Adultery a Criminal Act?

In California, adultery is not illegal, and the state does not consider it a criminal act. While that’s not the case in some other states, it is in California, which will generally mean that the act of adultery will not itself affect the divorce process. In fact, most courts won’t even consider evidence of an affair during the divorce proceedings because they do not feel it is relevant or has any bearing on how they will decide who gets what in the divorce. The only thing that the judge is concerned with is that the marriage failed. 

Arguing for More Spousal Support

Knowing that cheating won’t be considered as part of your divorce, you will have to show the court that there’s an actual need in order to obtain the amount of alimony you want. One way to do so may be to argue that you had never planned for a divorce but feel compelled to get one after your spouse’s indiscretions. If you can show that you did not prepare for a future in which your spouse was not supporting you, this argument may prove to be effective. For example, if you can show that you put your career on the back burner to care for your children and family or that you are accustomed to a certain lifestyle, then a judge may decide that more spousal support will be needed in your case. 

Crucially, hiring the right Irvine divorce attorney will be critical to your success. You’re going to want a strong litigator on your side who understands exactly what a judge would like to hear.

Hire an Irvine Divorce Attorney Today

If your spouse has cheated and you don’t think you can settle your differences, the best approach is to contact an Irvine divorce attorney immediately. They can help you get what you deserve. Contact our offices today.