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Does Marital Misconduct Impact My California Divorce?

May 15, 2023, In Divorce

Our Los Angeles family law attorney at WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC knows that there are many misconceptions about divorce in California. The reality is, all divorces are unique, and so are the proceedings that follow the decision.

Divorce is a deeply personal experience, as is each reason spouses choose to dissolve their marriages. In some cases, couples simply grow apart. In others, one spouse is being unfaithful. Some marriages experience multiple forms of deceit that lead one to file for divorce after they have finally had enough. The question becomes, does it matter? Does the reason California couples get divorced matter during the proceedings?

Our Los Angeles County divorce lawyer has answers.

Does Fault Matter During a California Divorce?

All states allow spouses to file for a “no-fault” divorce, including California. This means neither spouse must prove the other’s conduct led them to dissolve the marriage. However, some states still allow one spouse to list that the other’s misconduct led them here. California is not one of those states.

Fault-based divorce is not an option in California, which makes it a pure no-fault divorce state.

Neither party can point to adultery, cruelty, abandonment, or other traditional grounds for divorce.

This means these traditional forms of marital misconduct have no bearing on the divorce’s outcome, and that:

  • Property acquired during the marriage is community property, to be divided between the parties equally following a marital settlement agreement.
  • Spousal support, child custody, and child support are decided based on California’s established legal factors.

Although some spouses may want to hold the other liable for the divorce, and seek reparations for their wrongdoing, the court will only examine relevant factors that impact the safety of the spouse, children, or how one spouse wasted or tried to hide marital finances.

Domestic Violence and Wasted Marital Finances Will Play a Role in California Divorces

Certain types of misconduct are relevant to California divorces.

They include:

  • If there is evidence of domestic violence or child abuse, the facts can be presented to the court to limit the abusive party’s access to the children.
  • If a spouse has committed spousal abuse, the court may order that he or she is not entitled to the alimony they may have been awarded.
  • If a spouse neglected their parental duties or put their child in danger while pursuing an extramarital affair, their conduct could affect the court’s custody decision.
  • If one spouse “wasted” marital assets on an extramarital affair, including spending the couple’s shared finances on vacations, gifts, dinners, or other items to further their affair, the court might take that waste into account when deciding how to distribute their property.
  • If one spouse attempts to hide assets, moves money/accounts into family members’ possession, or spends/charges excessively to punish the other spouse during the divorce, he or she may be sanctioned by the court.

Are You Business Owners Who Are Seeking a Divorce in California? We Can Help.

If you have questions about your divorce, and how your spouse’s conduct may play a role in your proceedings, contact our skilled family law attorneys in Los Angeles County at WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC by calling (310) 552-3505 to schedule a free consultation today. We can help provide solutions that produce results.

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If you are considering a Divorce in Los Angeles, CA, Contact our experienced Attorney Today and Get a Free Consultation.

Give us a call 310-552-3505