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What Effect Does Marital Infidelity Have on a California Divorce

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

Answers: Infidelity does not influence the division of property in a California Divorce. In California, the process might be different from what many people expect due to the state’s no-fault divorce laws. Even though the pain and betrayal of infidelity can have profound emotional effects, cheating typically doesn’t have a large impact on legal outcomes such as asset division, alimony, and child custody. In California, you get a divorce by starting a court case. No one has to prove someone did something wrong to cause the divorce (this is called no fault divorce). You can get a divorce even if the other person doesn’t want one.