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Can an extra-marital affair lead to problems in divorce court?

An unraveling marriage leads to high anxiety, stress and sorrow. Even when it seems like both spouses agree that things have not gone well lately, they may have held onto hope.

A discovery that one spouse is cheating stops that hope dead in its track. Now it is full-steam ahead through the divorce process. The other spouse may wonder if the infidelity will have an impact on how the divorce process goes. Will it give him or her an advantage over the cheating spouse? Is it grounds for divorce?

Arizona is a no-fault state

When a couple living in Arizona decides to terminate their marriage, family law court does not take any reason into account. The reasons for the divorce do not matter because Arizona is a no-fault divorce state. No spouse is liable for the dissolution of the marriage, and only one needs to state that the marriage is irretrievably broken.

Infidelity does not matter to the court

There could be solid evidence that one spouse was cheating; however, this evidence is not part of the divorce proceeding. The judge will not consider the infidelity in ruling on many matters in the divorce including child custody and parenting time. Alimony does not move up or down based on infidelity and neither does child support.

Infidelity may matter when it comes to asset division

Where proof of indiscretion may come into play is during the division of assets and property. If one spouse can show that the other used joint marital assets during the course of the affair, he or she may have to pay that money back during the divorce.

Infidelity is never an easy thing to handle, especially when it leads to the demise of a marriage. While it is natural to want the cheating spouse to suffer the consequences during the divorce, it typically will not happen. However, keeping track of money spent on the affair may help an individual's case during the money phase of the process. 

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