In California, the only grounds for divorce are irreconcilable differences. Extramarital affairs are not considered relevant or factored into divorce proceedings. It does not affect the division of assets, child custody, child support, or spousal support. However, the emotional affect can be felt between each spouse and their children.
Effect on the Faithful Spouse
An affair does have a tremendous emotional impact on the spouse who was faithful in the marriage. The affair often holds the faithful spouse back from looking for solutions. Retribution is not an uncommon feeling and there could be a need or want of compensation for the spouse’s suffering. They are often upset that the law does not allow them to punish the unfaithful partner.
In rare cases there is evidence that an unfaithful spouse wasted community assets by using their community property funds to buy gifts for the other man or other woman, the court may award a greater share of the current community property to make up for that loss. But that is subject to proof.
Effect on the Unfaithful Spouse
There is no way to predict how an unfaithful spouse will respond. There are times when that spouse is so anxious to get out of the marriage, he or she will readily give up fighting over assets to be finished with it and move on.
Guilt could weigh heavily on the unfaithful spouse and he or she might be more accommodating about meeting the needs of the faithful one.
How Kim Mediation and Law Center Can Help
It helps to explain the law as much as possible to both spouses before the mediation begins. A private session with each party is the most effective way to educate them about California law and that the affair will have no bearing on the resolution of any issue.