Does Adultery Affect Spousal Support in California?
When it comes to dealing with the cases of legal separation or divorce, the California courts follow the no-fault approach that specifically states that an individual is not required to prove the ‘fault’ of another party to obtain a divorce. This implies that a judge in California will not, under any circumstance, consider adultery or infidelity of a partner as a deciding factor while granting the divorce. However, there are certain considerations which a court might make in deciding the spousal support or alimony in an adulterous marriage.
How adultery can effect the spousal support in a divorce
More often than not, while dealing with a case of adultery in a divorce, a judge has the discretion to decide upon the duration and amount of spousal support to be paid and also whether there is any need for support at all. Infidelity cannot be used as a weapon to deny an adulterous spouse his or right to receive alimony from the other partner, if he or she is found eligible for it. However, if an adulterous spouse moves in with his or her new partner and starts living with them during the litigation process, the situation might turn somewhat complicated for both the parties. Owing to the fact, that a judge will only consider an individual’s financial requirements and not his personal conduct, the amount of spousal support to be received by an adulterous partner might be decreased, if he or she continues to cohabitate with a new lover, on the grounds of an improved quality of life and the sharing of expenses.
The factors that influence spousal support
The court of law is obliged to consider a few pivotal factors in deciding upon the final settlement for alimony.
- Whether the earning capacity of both partners is sufficient for maintaining the quality of life established during their relationship or not
- The contribution of the receiver in catering to the financial needs of the other partner during the marriage
- A partner’s ability to pay the required amount of spousal support to the other spouse
- The length or duration of the marriage
- The health and age of both the spouses
- Any history of domestic violence or child abuse that might have occurred during the marriage
- Any criminal convictions on the receiving spouse
- The tax implications of receiving and paying the spousal support on each of the two partners
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