Infidelity is one of the top reasons that people decide to file for divorce. Discovering an extramarital affair feels like such a deep violation that it seems like a crime.
Many people still reeling from the discovery of their spouse’s unfaithfulness may hope to secure justice in the Colorado family courts. When you file for divorce in Colorado, how much of an influence will your spouse’s adultery potentially have on your divorce?
Do you have a marital agreement with your spouse?
If there were issues with infidelity in your spouse’s previous relationship or if they cheated on you while you were pregnant, you might have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement talking about their unfaithfulness.
If you already have a contract applying certain penalties to your spouse in the event of a divorce, that document can play a big role in your divorce. Otherwise, state law will determine what impact the adultery has.
Jilted spouses coming to terms with an extramarital affair might hope for justice in the form of a larger share of the marital estate. However, Colorado state law instructs the judges presiding over divorces to split property without consideration to marital misconduct. With the possible exception of wasteful dissipation during an affair, adultery on its own will not influence how the judge splits your property.
Some people believe that adultery is evidence of a moral failing that shows that their spouse is unfit to raise children. While you may have strong moral or religious feelings about infidelity, the courts will not necessarily share that same attitude. Their focus when making custody decisions will be on what is best for the children.
Even if one parent is a chronic cheater, their relationship with the children is still important for the kids. Judges are very unlikely to consider adultery when making custody decisions unless it led to the endangerment of the children in some way.
Alimony or spousal maintenance
If you have been a dependent spouse and now have to go support yourself because your ex stepped out on you, you may want spousal maintenance to help you get back on your feet. Thankfully, Colorado judges can consider any relevant marital factors when making spousal maintenance decisions. The financial circumstances of a dependent spouse and the impact of the infidelity on their financial circumstances could influence how a judge structures support.
Although it is normal to want justice after infidelity, pursuing your own happiness may be the best form of revenge. Learning more about Colorado law can help you plan for success in your divorce.