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What Effect Does Infidelity Have on a California Divorce Case

Question: If one’s marriage ends due in whole or in part to infidelity, does the unfaithful spouse have to pay damages or lose any rights to the equal division of community property? What about custody? Does infidelity influence custody?

Answers: Infidelity does not usually influence the division of property in a California Divorce. The process might be different from what many people expect. This is due to the state’s no-fault divorce laws. In California, No one has to prove someone did something wrong to precipitate the divorce. You can get a divorce even if the other person doesn’t want one. If one party wants out of the marriage, the parties can be divorced. The pain and betrayal of infidelity can have profound emotional effects, but cheating typically doesn’t have a large impact on legal outcomes such as  alimony,or child custody.

But, if your spouse expended significant money for the benefit of the party with whom they were being unfaithful such as extragant gifts, living support, etc. then in the division of the community property the spouse can request the community be reimbursed for the unauthorized expenditures. Obviously, the expenditures were not for the benefit of the community. The spouse would likely be entitled to claim one-half of the total amount they expended .

Galen Gentry assists clients in Los Angeles and Southern California with divorce issues and explains the person’s rights and obligations in a divorce. Mr. Gentry has 30 years of experience and can help people to protect their interests. If you think infidelity could potentially have an effect on the community property aspect of your case Call at (310) 282-7521 or contact us online by using the Orange form on the right of your screen to schedule a free consultation.