Infidelity and Divorce


Having an unfaithful spouse is one of the most common reasons residents file for divorce in Pasadena. Infidelity brings with it feelings of hurt and betrayal. Although some couples manage to work past their differences, others find an affair to be an automatic deal breaker.

All states allow no-fault divorce. However, this does not necessarily mean evidence of cheating won't affect issues such as child custody and the division of assets.

If your spouse was discreet about his or her affair, this is unlikely to have an impact on his or her perceived parenting abilities. But a parent who neglects to spend time with his or her children in order to meet with a new lover may be legitimately viewed as neglectful. If the new relationship is a homosexual one, the jilted spouse might try to use this as evidence of sinful or immoral behavior. Direct discrimination against homosexual parents is illegal, but the argument often does a great job of resulting in a lengthy court battle even if there are no other signs that point to questionable parenting. In the end, parents sometimes back down from their initial custody request simply to spare their children the additional emotional turmoil or to protect themselves from having the full details of their relationship become a matter of public record.

Infidelity can affect the division of assets, but not in the way that many people expect. In California, courts do not allow prenups that punish infidelity. While a prenup that sets limits on spousal support can be valid, the limits can't be tied to whether or not the person has been faithful in the marriage. The main way that infidelity affects the financial aspect of a divorce settlement is if it can be proven that the cheating spouse spent the couple's joint assets on vacations, gifts, or other expenses relating to the affair. Then, the courts can decide to provide more of the couple's assets to the spouse who did remain faithful as part of an attempt to correct the misuse of marital funds.

If your divorce involves infidelity, be upfront with your Pasadena divorce lawyer about this issue. Even if it makes you uncomfortable to discuss the affair, your attorney needs to have all of the facts to be able to advocate on your behalf.