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Will the divorce courts punish your ex for their adultery?

| Jan 6, 2021 | Family Law

Finding out that your spouse has committed adultery is painful and often shocking. You may feel as though you have shared your life with a stranger because you never thought that your spouse was capable of such a betrayal.

It can be difficult for people to process and move on from spousal infidelity. Although some couples are able to forgive, many others wind up in divorce court after an extramarital affair.

If you have considered filing for divorce because your spouse cheated, will the Arizona family courts punish your spouse for cheating on you and breaking their marital vows during the divorce process?

Does adultery affect property division?

The first question many victims of extramarital affairs have is whether they can get more of the marital estate because of adultery. Arizona is typically a no-fault state for divorce, which means that the courts do not consider marital misconduct when splitting up your property.

That same rule will also apply to the allocation of spousal maintenance or alimony. Simply put, your spouse’s bad behavior will not have much of an impact on the financial outcome of your divorce unless you can show that they intentionally wasted resources that belonged to both of you as part of the affair.

If you share children, an affair won’t affect how the courts allocate custody, nor will the courts typically prevent your ex’s adultery partner from having a relationship with the children. There are often no official consequences for cheating in a divorce unless the couple had a prenuptial agreement that created punishments for bad behavior. 

The best revenge is living well

Spouses trying to process the pain of adultery sometimes spend tens of thousands of dollars fighting for impossible outcomes in their divorce proceedings. Instead of diminishing your resources by pushing for some kind of punishment for your ex, the better approach may be to focus on your own future.

Set goals for the divorce that prioritize your stability and future happiness rather than the punishment of your ex. As time flows by and you move on to a happier life, your improved daily existence will be the best possible revenge after leaving a cheating spouse in your past.