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Will your divorce decree make you pay for your spouse’s affair?

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2022 | Property Division

It may have been the financial infidelity and not the sexual infidelity that you noticed first. You happened to log into your credit card account online, which you usually don’t pay, only to spot suspicious charges.

Your spouse usually handles paying the account, so you never scrutinized the statements. As you started going over the account and possibly others, you noticed a trend. Expensive dinners, hotel rooms and even travel expenses may have been adding to your credit card balances or diminishing your back accounts for months.

Now that you know you want to file for divorce because your spouse has been unfaithful, will you have to help pay off the credit card debt they accrued or give up the income they wasted while cheating on you?

Misuse of marital capital can affect property division

For the most part, the California family courts will not penalize one spouse for infidelity when dividing property. However, if they wasted marital assets while damaging the relationship, their actions may influence the outcome of your divorce proceedings.

Having an affair can cost a lot of money. The longer it goes on, the more money your spouse may spend that should be part of your marital estate. Under California’s community property laws, both of you have an equal right to marital assets and equal responsibility for marital debts. Judges will consider dissipation or wasteful misuse of marital property when they decide how to split your assets and debts.

The more you can show that your spouse wasted on the affair, the bigger the impact it can have on your divorce. Carefully reviewing your financial records can be a good starting place when preparing to divide property in a divorce caused by adultery in California.