How Does Adultery Impact a Divorce? What Consequences Can Be Expected?

The decision to end your marriage is a difficult one, especially when you are unsure if the union could be saved. Sometimes, however, the choice to divorce comes after finding out that your partner committed adultery. If this is the case you may wonder how does adultery impact a divorce? It is important to know how cheating affects your divorce and what consequences could be expected.

No-Fault Divorce in Arizona

Arizona is one of the many states that provide no-fault divorces. This means that couples can more easily dissolve their marriages without the need to place blame on either party. No-fault divorces are simpler than those that use grounds for divorce because there is no requirement to prove any fault. Divorcing couples generally split their assets and other marital property equitably between both husband and wife. In Arizona, adultery is not a necessary grounds for divorce unless the parties entered into a covenant marriage which restores fault bases for divorce.

Adultery Plays a Role in Asset Distribution

Adultery itself is not considered in a divorce; however it can play a role in the distribution of assets if it impacted the couple’s finances. For example, if the person who cheated used marital funds to make a large purchase that was not for use by both husband and wife, there could be a reduction of distribution. This called marital/community waste or dissipation of assets. Of course, the spending would need to be proven to the satisfaction of the court. In some instances a forensic accountant may be necessary to uncover hidden spending of marital funds by one spouse.

Asset Distribution Must Be Reviewed

Although the assets of married couples should be divided equitably between each of them, the distribution may be altered due to improper spending or fraudulent actions by one party. If one person hid assets it may be considered fraudulent activity. During a disputed divorce the attorneys may depose witnesses including the husband and wife. They must provide the requested financial documents and truthfully answer questions regarding finances.

Resolving Difficult Disputes in Divorces

While you may be quite angry at your partner for stepping outside the marriage, there may be no legal consequences that apply to the situation. The situation could create a more difficult and lengthy divorce. If adultery was a factor in the decision to end your marriage you should discuss it with your divorce attorney. Your lawyer will answer your questions and guide you through the process to achieve the divorce settlement you deserve.

Schedule a consultation with the experienced divorce lawyers at Udall Shumway PLC to discuss your case.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding How Does Adultery Impact a Divorce, or any other family law issue, please feel free to contact Sheri D. Shepard at 480.461.5300, log on to, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.