If an Orange County, California, reader asks a divorcing spouse why his or her marriage failed, the answer may involve endless reasons full of resentment or other emotions. Some divorce stories may also include infidelity, which is considered a common reason that a couple parts ways. However, if one person cheats during the marriage, it may not affect the divorce case a great deal, particularly in no-fault states like California.
A no-fault divorce law means that the spouse who filed for divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse did something wrong during the marriage. This also means that even if a spouse was proven unfaithful during the marriage, the court may not consider infidelity as grounds for divorce.
The same goes for spouses exhibiting bad behavior. In a no-fault divorce state like California, most spouses list "irreparable breakdown of the marriage" or "irreconcilable differences," as the reason the person is divorcing the husband or wife.
However, infidelity can impact divorce cases in a no-fault state. For example, the spouse's infidelity may affect divorce legal issues like child custody. The court may consider such a factor, particularly if it negatively affects the welfare of the child.
The infidelity of a spouse can be emotionally difficult in the event of divorce. However, reviewing divorce laws in California, such as no-fault laws, may prepare the spouses for the conflict and legal hurdles they may encounter while going through the divorce process. Although infidelity seems insignificant in no-fault states, the potential impact of such a factor may be used in settling the divorce in a less-stressful and more cost-effective manner for a spouse.
Source: Huffington Post, "Divorce Confidential: A Cheating Heart and Its Role in Divorce," Caroline Choi, Oct. 1, 2013