Will it Matter if my Ex Cheated in a Divorce Case?

The short answer is that infidelity usually will not matter in an Arizona divorce case but that it can in some situations. We’ll delve into this answer more below.

Why Infidelity Does NOT Usually Impact Arizona Divorce Cases
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Although Arizona is a no fault divorce state, there are certain times when infidelity can affect a divorce case, a Scottsdale divorce lawyer explains. Here’s when & why.

The reason that cheating does not typically affect Arizona divorce cases is that Arizona is a “no-fault” divorce state. This effectively means that:

  • Fault does not need to be established to get a divorce.
  • Fault is not considered by the court when it’s time to decide on the issues of the divorce, such as how the property is to be divided, how parenting time should be split up, etc.

Instead, in no-fault divorce states like Arizona, one party in the marriage simply needs to affirm that the marriage is irrevocably broken (i.e., there is no hope of reconciliation) to proceed in divorce.

Additionally, because Arizona is a community property state, fault is not generally considered when addressing the issues in the divorce; instead, factors like equitable distribution and what is in the children’s best interests will be at the forefront of these matters.

When & How Cheating may Affect a Divorce Case

With most rules come some exceptions, and this holds true for the issue of infidelity in divorce. In fact, cheating may play a role in a divorce case if or when:

  • A significant portion of martial assets or community property was given to the unmarried romantic partner. This could cause the cheater to lose some ground in property division determinations.
  • A substantial amount of marital debt was acquired as the affair or infidelities were carried out. This could impact how the debt divided, with the cheater likely being ordered by the court to cover the portions used to fund the affair.
  • A couple signed a prenuptial agreement that contained an infidelity clause. This could have various impacts, depending on the provisions of that clause.
  • The affair may affect a parent’s ability to look out for the best interests of a child due to, for instance, who the affair was with. This could affect parenting time decisions if a case can be made that the affair (or pattern of infidelity) could harm a child.
Contact a Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau

Are you ready to get answers about your best options for proceeding with a divorce? If so, you can rely on Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer Karen Schoenau for honest answers, effective representation and the best possible outcomes to your case.

To receive professional advice and learn more about how Attorney Karen Schoenau can help you, schedule an initial consultation with her today. You can set up this meeting by calling 480-209-1918 or by emailing us using the drop-down contact form at the top of this page.

From her offices based on Scottsdale, Attorney Karen Schoenau represents clients throughout the metropolitan Scottsdale area, including in Scottsdale, Mesa, Surprise, Maricopa County, Pinal County, Gila County and throughout the state of Arizona.

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