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Adultery and alimony

by Dinnebier & Demmerle on October 23, 2014

Orange County Divorce Lawyer

Adultery is on the books in several states as a criminal act, but not in California, as of this post. So here is today’s question: does cheating on a spouse affect the terms of a couple’s divorce, specifically regarding alimony?

The answer to that question, for California couples who divorce, is yes. And no.

California is a no-fault divorce state. Pinning blame on one party or the other is not at issue according to the law. And as far as the determination of spousal support or alimony (they are the same thing), a cheating spouse cannot be punished by demands for higher amounts just because they committed an infidelity. Alimony payments in California are determined for the most part by specific statutory rules concerning earnings and earning potential, standard of living, etc. Spousal support is not a capricious determination made by the judge, the attorneys or the divorcing parties.

But back to the question first posed. Adultery may come to bear upon the court’s determination of alimony to be paid. If a cheating spouse is cohabitating with another person (not the original spouse), the court may determine that he or she therefore requires less support money, since presumably his or her current partner is providing some, or all, financial support.

Remember, this is our take on the law. This blog is not a comprehensive essay on the details of California law, nor is it intended as legal advice. It is merely a topical overview intended for informational and/or discussion purposes. If you have questions or concerns about any aspect of how these matters may affect you, you may wish to consult a knowledgeable family law attorney. 

As Orange County’s premier family law specialists, the attorneys at Dinnebier & Demmerle can provide answers to your questions and concerns, clarify and establish your legal rights, and represent you in court. If you would like more information about divorce, spousal support or any other aspect of California family law, please call to set up a consultation. We’re ready to move forward when you are. Just contact us in Tustin at 714-838-1099.

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