The Effect of Adultery on Arizona Divorce
Infidelity does happen in a marriage and it can have a serious effect on an eventual upcoming divorce. Whether you’ve been unfaithful or your partner has been guilty of infidelity, understanding the law will be crucial during a lengthy and often painful divorce process. So, is there any effect of adultery on Arizona divorce?
Arizona Divorce and Adultery Laws
Arizona Revised Statute 13-1408 sheds some light on how adultery is prosecuted by law in the state. According to the statute, a husband or a wife can prosecute a partner who has been unfaithful. When adultery is proven, it is classified as a Class 3 misdemeanor under Arizona law.
As far as a divorce is concerned, Arizona is a no-fault state. This means that either party can file without providing a justification for the requested divorce. One of the partners has to claim that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” for divorce proceedings to be initiated.
While adultery isn’t going to have an effect on the divorce filing itself, it could impact other aspects of the separation.
Cheating, Asset Division and Alimony
Spousal support or alimony is the amount that the spouse who makes more provides to the spouse who has a smaller income. The aim of alimony is to ensure that both people enjoy the same standard of living that they had during the marriage.
In Arizona, cheating has no impact on the alimony that will be awarded. Judges cannot consider evidence of unfaithfulness when making the calculations. Spousal support is based entirely on the incomes of the two partners.
Effect of adultery on Arizona divorce may be seen in the division of the assets.
The partner that has been cheated on could potentially ask for more of the community assets acquired during the marriage. This can happen when a good divorce attorney proves that the cheating spouse has been financially irresponsible. Spending significant sums on the affair can be proven through bank account records or a credit card spending check.
If an attorney manages to prove that one of the spouses has been financially irresponsible because of cheating, the other partner will be entitled to a 100 percent reimbursement. Even if they don’t get more of the community assets, they may be entitled to a smaller portion of the family debt (or no debt at all in the aftermath of the adultery).
Adultery and Covenant Marriages
While Arizona is a no fault state when it comes to getting a divorce, there’s one exception. The exception applies to individuals who decide to enter a covenant marriage.
A covenant marriage requires pre-marital counseling and the couple understands that the commitment is for life. If trouble arises, the couple has the responsibility to undergo counselling and address the problem instead of separating.
People who enter a covenant marriage cannot get a no fault divorce. Adultery is one of the reasons listed for the breakup of a covenant marriage in the Arizona law. The person that has been cheated on will have to do the divorce filing and the other one would be at fault.
This is one of the few reasons that can contribute to the legal end of a covenant marriage. The others include one of the spouses committing a felony, abandonment of the matrimonial domicile for at least one year, physical abuse, sexual abuse and separate living without reconciliation for a prolonged period of time.
Apart from providing a reason for a divorce, the adultery does not affect the dissolution of a covenant marriage in any other way. Once a partner has a reason to request a divorce, the legal process will be the same as in the case of spouses who do not have a covenant marriage.