Marriage generally comes with the expectation of romantic and sexual monogamy. In all but a handful of cases, those who make a lifetime commitment to a romantic partner expect that partner to commit to them fully and to forgo romantic relationships and sexual encounters with others in the future.
Unfortunately, not everyone is capable of following through on a promise to remain monogamous. Uncovering evidence of a spouse’s extramarital affair can leave someone feeling hurt or disgusted. They may fear the medical risks that come from infidelity, and they often want justice for the wrongdoing of their spouse. Can someone who files for divorce after discovering an extramarital affair in Colorado expect the courts to consider their spouse’s adultery when handling their divorce?
Colorado is a no-fault divorce state
There are some states where one spouse can file for divorce based on Pacific grounds, and adultery is one of the most universally acknowledged justifications for divorce. However, Colorado no longer allows fault-based divorce proceedings and will instead employ a no-fault approach when one spouse files for divorce.
In other words, neither spouse needs to prove that the other did something wrong, and marital misconduct will have almost no bearing on the outcome of the process. A judge will not deny someone time with their children because they conducted an affair, and they will also not punish someone by diminishing their share of marital assets because of adultery.
The only scenario in which there could be court-imposed consequences for conducting an affair is when someone uses marital resources for the purpose of having an affair and the other spouse can quantify how much they wasted. Someone who is able to prove that their spouse spent thousands of dollars paying for hotel rooms or buying gifts for their affair partner could present that financial evidence to the courts and make a claim of dissipation.
The use of marital income or assets for a purpose that undermines the marital relationship could lead to a judge altering their property division decree to integrate the value of those dissipated assets. For most people, adultery will have no significant impact on the outcome of divorce proceedings, which makes investigating the adultery or proving it to the courts a waste of time and money.
Discussing the situation that led to someone filing for divorce with an attorney might help an individual better determine the right approach to employ as they prepare for family court.