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Does adultery affect Arizona divorce?

There are many reasons why married couples decide to divorce. Although addictions and money problems commonly come into play, one of the most typical reasons that receives a lot of attention is adultery. This occurs when one married partner engaged in a physical or emotional relationship with another person outside of the marriage. 

Some states have laws stating that one spouse's infidelity could lead to the judge altering the amount of alimony the other party receives. However, Arizona has no such law. Most couples in Arizona have no-fault divorces, which means the couple does not need any reason in the court's eyes to separate. 

What factors impact amount of alimony received?

Although judges in Arizona cannot take into account any marital misconduct when determining how much alimony to award one person, these factors can come into play:

  • Duration of the marriage
  • Standard of living both people enjoyed during the marriage
  • Ability of one spouse to pay alimony
  • Earning ability, employment history and age of the spouse seeking alimony
  • Ability of both spouses to contribute to the overall care of any children shared between the two
  • Any damages that resulted from criminal conduct
  • Time necessary for spouse receiving alimony to acquire new skills to enter the workforce

When does adultery come into play?

There is one specific instance where adultery can affect a divorce in Arizona. Some couples planning to marry want to enter a covenant marriage. This is not a replacement for a regular marriage, but it does add another layer on top of it. The couple will receive premarital counseling from a member of their clergy with the goal of strengthening the bond between the two. When the time for marriage comes, the couple must state their plan to enter a covenant marriage. In this instance, the court could only grant a divorce under certain conditions, one of which is adultery. 

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