Does Adultery Have An Impact On A California Divorce Case Today?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsAre you wondering whether cheating can have an impact on your divorce case or not? If that is the case, here is all that you should know about adultery.  A marriage can end when one of the spouses discovers that the other is having an adulterous relationship. But what importance does an extra-marital relationship has on the continuity of a marriage or in a divorce? The answer to this question may vary from country to country and from state to state. While in some states the effect may be negligible, in other states such a behavior could have a big impact on the results.

In the past, there had been a bigger correlation between adultery and divorce as compared to today. Especially, when a woman committed adultery, it was viewed as a big offense. The punishment was harsher for her than if it was done by a man. Even today, this is so in some countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran. In these countries, the woman could be punished with a violent death if she had an extra-marital relationship. In the United States of America, adultery is treated as a crime in a few states and yet is hardly ever prosecuted.  However, as California is a no-fault state, adultery has little impact on the outcome of a divorce case.

Impact of adultery on asset distribution

Today, adultery does not have that much of an impact on asset distribution in the event of a divorce. However, the exception can be cases where a spouse has used his or her marital assets to provide support to that extra-marital relationship. For instance, when a husband takes a loan against a marital property to support his girlfriend, it can be considered while asset distribution takes place.

Effect of adultery to determine custody

Generally, adultery does not affect decisions related to determining the custody of the children in California. The exception could be when the third person that the wayward spouse is cheating with poses a threat to the children by having a criminal background, uses drugs or abuses alcohol, etc.

However, if adultery can be proven, it can have an impact on spousal support by reducing or terminating the amount of support when an ex-spouse or a spouse is living with some other person, which is known as cohabitation.

But the most problematic and serious problem that adultery is like to cause is while negotiating a settlement. According to statistics, more than a whopping 90 percent spouses resolve their divorce settlement through negotiations. An unfaithful spouse is most likely to feel sheepish or guilty after the confession or the discovery. On the other hand, the spouse cheated on usually feels furious and cheated. These emotional elements of both the parties may come in the way of a peaceful settlement and can significantly have an impact on the divorce terms.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Top 5 Reasons for Couples Getting Divorced

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediators Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsMarriage is not an easy relationship. There are several cases when couples started their married life with the best intentions but ended up getting divorced. There could be various reasons for which couples get divorced. Here are some of the most common reasons for couples ending up being in divorce court.

Extra-marital affairs or adultery

According to a report published by AARP, even today, adultery plays a big role in people filing for divorce. But, reports also claim that there are several reasons that lead to a spouse getting into an extra-marital affair such as unequal sexual urges, getting distant, having different interests, resentment and fury.

Gain in weight or obesity

Though it may appear as a surprising reason, unusual weight gain by one of the spouses is also known to be a major reason why couples get divorced. A survey conducted by Men’s Health magazine reported that when one of the spouses gains a lot of weight, it can come in the way of their marital bliss. If your spouse does not attract or get turned on to your body, there could be problems like resentment and rejection, which can be marriage-threatening issues.

Monetary issues

According to a report published by the American Journal of Sociology, when a husband is unemployed, it can be a major criterion for divorce. In other words, lack of or insufficient money can cause big problems in a marriage, often leading to a divorce. If a married couple faces financial on strainers, there could be a lot of stress. This can further lead to a lack of proper communication and constant arguing. There are many couples who have different views on the others’ spending habits. Relationships may undergo lots of stress where one controls or has the finances, which often end up in a divorce.

Lack of proper communication

Often you will hear people saying that proper communication is the key to a successful marriage. Many relationship coaches opine that negative communication or lack of communication may diminish feelings of romance and love between couples. When a couple stops having effective communication, marital troubles leading to a divorce are not unusual.

Abuse

Abuse can be either a spouse being physically or emotionally abused by the other spouse. These are a common reason why many couples get divorced. Verbal or physical fighting that happens frequently between couples may make their relationship volatile and eventually end up in a divorce.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

California Law on Extramarital Affairs and Alimony

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsThe worst thing that can happen to a marriage is infidelity. Most married people hope that something like this never happens. However, extramarital affairs occur more often than one could imagine. In fact, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) reports that 40% of marriages fall prey to infidelity.

Now that we’ve accepted the reality of infidelity, the next big question in your mind likely has to do with divorce. Divorce is often the likely outcome of infidelity in a marriage and it can affect the results of the divorce.

So, let’s look at how infidelity affects divorce in California.

No-fault divorce 

California follows the no-fault divorce law.  So, there are only two primary reasons that can be used as grounds for divorce – incurable insanity or irreconcilable difference. The letter refers to issues between the spouses that have damaged the relationship beyond reconciliation.

In fact, one isn’t even required to testify as to why the marriage failed. The only thing needed to authorize the divorce is an agreement from both spouses supporting the divorce. The no-fault divorce law was implemented because it speeds up the divorce process and allows couples to go their way without bickering over every detail.

Another important point to note is that adultery is not a crime in California, and hence, there is no legal definition for it as far as the Californian law goes. However, adultery, in general, is defined as a sexual relationship that a married person indulges in with someone other than their spouse.

Californian courts will not consider adultery as a key factor in granting a divorce. No-fault divorce requires that courts simply grant the divorce based on the couple’s acceptance of marital failure.

Alimony and custody

Adultery does, however, affect alimony, but, not in the typical way one might imagine. Californian courts will award alimony based on the ability of the offending spouse’s ability to pay and the offended spouse’s financial needs.

So, it is possible for the offended spouse to receive less alimony than hoped for. For instance, if the offended spouse moves on and begins living with another partner, the courts may consider this spouse’s financial needs to be less significant.

As for custody, California prioritizes the child’s interests. So, adultery doesn’t affect custody in a big way. The only time it does is if the relationship has directly affected the children. For example, if the cheating spouse engaged in a sexual act with the paramour in the presence of the child/children.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation