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How Does Infidelity Matter in a San Diego Divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2022 | Divorce

How does infidelity matter in a San Diego divorce?  We are often asked if an affair will cause a party to lose more in a divorce or get less time with the children.  What is the impact of cheating on a divorce case?

If you suspect your spouse is cheating or you have been accused of an affair yourself it is a safe bet that your marriage is at risk.  An affair is one of the most common reasons for choosing a divorce in San Diego and across the nation.  California divorce is considered to be “no-fault.”  You don’t have to prove that the marriage is permanently damaged or that one party or the other is at fault.  The presumption of irreconcilable differences means the court will not consider outside issues such as an affair for many aspects of the case.

Will infidelity matter in a San Diego divorce when it comes to child custody and visitation?  Our Family Courts do not presume adultery in and of itself makes a person unfit to co-parent.  Cheating on a spouse itself is not a reason to lose custody of or time with your children.  In order for an affair to affect custody and visitation the Court would have to be convinced of harm to a child.  Awareness of the affair and attempts or treatment for thoughts of suicide or self-harm are not in a child’s best interest.  In a contentious battle, an assertion might be made that the affair caused the unfaithful spouse to neglect their duties as a parent, citing issues of a child being left alone to care for themselves, lacking appropriate supervision or present evidence when a child wasn’t picked up or forgotten.  Neglect will affect the Court’s perception of a co-parent.

Are there other circumstances which make infidelity matter in a San Diego divorce?  Yes.  Property division is an example of this.  Under California Family Law, a “community” is established between the two parties from the date of the marriage to the date of separation.  The debts and assets of the community are to be divided equally between the parties during property division.  An affair does not in and of itself justify changing property division under the law.  However, if the process of the affair forced the community to bear provable additional expenses (such as trips, expensive gifts, hotel costs) the Judge could assign these debts to the unfaithful spouse, or ask for them to be reimbursed.  If the infidelity can be directly associated with a loss of value on a community asset, such as a business or property, then the Judge will consider provable accountability for financial loss.

Does infidelity matter in a San Diego divorce when it comes to spousal support?  It’s easy to understand how a Judge may consider a request for support from a spouse who was unfaithful to their partner.  Spousal support is supposed to allow both parties to be able to support themselves and maintain some level of their standard of living for a period of time after a divorce.  It is based upon the need for support and the ability of the other to provide support.

How does infidelity matter in a San Diego divorce?  If your divorce is a result of or impacted by infidelity you will need a skilled, experienced attorney.  Our Certified Family Law Specialists have decades of experience in North County and San Diego Family Courts.  We invite you to protect your own interests and contact us or call 760-389-3927 to schedule an appointment for a safe, confidential and private consultation with one of our experienced and proven Certified Family Law Specialists.