Uncontested Divorce: Does Adultery Matter in a California Divorce?

Uncontested Divorce: Does Adultery Matter in a California Divorce?

Some partners can overcome cheating and save their marriage but others choose to divorce as the only possible solution. In the latter case, many opt for a cheap uncontested divorce in California as the easiest and top beneficial way out. While others seek legal ways to punish their cheating spouse. But not all states approve legal tools to make the cheating spouse learn the lesson.

Explore the adultery law in California and make the best suitable decisions to end your marriage successfully even after infidelity.

Is Adultery a Ground for Divorce in CA

California is a no-fault state meaning that the marriage is usually terminated without putting fault on anyone. The only two legal grounds for divorce are incurable insanity and irreconcilable differences. The latter point may include infidelity as well.

Since cheating is not an official ground for divorce in the state, there is hardly a consequence of committing adultery in California. So don’t expect the court to punish your soon-to-be-ex for having an extramarital affair. They may only spoil the relationships with your family and friends if you decide to open up about your family issues. In all other cases, there will only be slight after-effects.

How Adultery Affects the Divorce Outcomes

Although the judge won’t treat the divorcees differently in cases where infidelity occurs, the fact of extramarital affairs may have a minor impact on the main divorce issues. For California, this may include the following.

Property Division

California divorce law distributes property due to the community property principle. This implies every partner gets half of the marital assets. Usually, property division undergoes no legal consequences of adultery.

Yet, in case your spouse has been spending your marital funds on their extramarital affair needs, you can expect them to pay everything back. If you can provide evidence that gifts, hotel stays, and similar cheating-related spending were covered from your joint account or any other marital funds, the judge will oblige your partner to reimburse the wasted money. And the property division will be adjusted accordingly.


In California, cheating is not the official reason for you to be assigned alimony. Even if your spouse has found a new love, broke your heart, and ruined your family, they cannot be obliged to pay for your living.

Generally, spousal support is granted to a person with a smaller income for a defined time and sum to guarantee a comfortable living after divorce. The financial situation and possibilities of the spouses are considered defining factors in the case.

If any of the spouses decide to move in with a new partner, it may have an impact on the alimony amount or get support canceled on the whole.

Child Custody

Cheating has no direct impact on child custody and visitation in California. The law doesn’t see any possible effect of extramarital affairs on the parenting capabilities of any of the spouses.

Since the law is directed to please the best needs of the children in a divorce case, there are some issues to be addressed when infidelity occurs. The top significant one is the relationship between the new partner of one of the parents and the children. If abuse, harassment, or similar dangerous activities toward the children occur or are possible, the court will pass the order to protect the kids by restricting communication with the parent and their dangerous partner.

Final Words

Although infidelity and divorce are often closely related, considering that cheating is one of the top frequent divorce reasons, in California, they have no legal interdependence in general. The property will be divided equally, with only reimbursement for wasted marital assets assigned (if there were such). Alimony will be decided regarding the financial and physical opportunities of the divorcees. While parents will handle the custody unless they threaten not to act in the best children’s interests.

Yet, extramarital affairs may define the tone of your marriage termination, and make your spouse revengeful and reluctant to cooperate. Plus, it will probably have a significant impact on your relationships with friends, relatives, and your kids. So, before you want to make the fact that cheating has ruined your marriage public and use it as a weapon in your divorce settlement, consider the possible after-effects. Then it will be easier for you to make the right choices and move on to a better life gradually.

Phoneia.com (August 29, 2022). Uncontested Divorce: Does Adultery Matter in a California Divorce?. Recovered from https://phoneia.com/en/uncontested-divorce-does-adultery-matter-in-a-california-divorce/