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Could you get more alimony because your spouse cheated?

On Behalf of | Oct 9, 2023 | Spousal Support

Alimony payments are sometimes ordered by the court when a couple gets divorced. They are also sometimes negotiated in an uncontested divorce proceeding by a couple that settles its differences out of court. These are also called spousal support payments in California. These payments are separate from other types of property division and from child support payments.

There are two basic types of spousal support that can be used. First of all, someone may be given temporary spousal support that just lasts for a set amount of time. The goal here is to give that person support so they can get back on their feet while they adjust to not being married.

Long-term spousal support can also be used, and may even be permanent in some cases. An example of this could be if a couple got divorced in their 60s, and one spouse had left the workforce 40 years earlier to have children and take care of the house. There’s no realistic way for them to make a living after the divorce, so spousal support can be utilized to level the playing field – economically speaking, between spouses.

Cheating does not make a difference

The grounds for support payments ordered in a contentious proceeding – spouses who negotiate property division terms can pursue spousal support for any number of reasons – focus on avoiding financial hardship. Alimony is not a punishment, and it is not going to be given out by the courts just because one person cheated.

Likewise, an extra-marital affair will not be used as a reason to either increase or decrease spousal support payments. You certainly could get alimony payments if your spouse cheated and that conduct inspired a divorce, but only if you negotiate these payments, you have prenuptial agreement terms guaranteeing a payout under these conditions or the court believes that you are owed spousal support regardless of why you’re getting divorced. You’re not going to get those payments because of an affair, and you’re not going to get more money as a means of punishing your spouse for not being faithful.

With all of this said, there is no substitute for seeking personalized support. If you have questions about how a spouse’s infidelity may impact your divorce process, don’t hesitate to seek legal guidance at any time.