lipstick-collarIf your marriage has been torn apart by infidelity, then it’s time to consider hiring an experienced California divorce lawyer to help you through the process.  While you and your spouse consider addressing the emotional issues through counseling and therapy (joint or individual), consulting with a competent and qualified California family law attorney can help you prepare for a potential dissolution of your marriage (aka “divorce”).

California law provides for divorces to be “no fault.”  This means that regardless of whether you are the perpetrator of infidelity – or the victim of it– the courts will not place blame on either party, nor punish the offending spouse.  The court will ignore allegations of fault, and will not listen to testimony about which spouse was “the bad guy.”  To the court, your marriage is a business that needs to be closed down and the consequences of that business divided equally between the partners so that you can move on to what follows.

California is one of a handful of community property states, which means that it is presumed that all of the property (and debt) acquired by a couple during marriage are to be divided equally.  Child and spousal support (alimony) are awarded independent of whether or not there was infidelity.  Child custody and visitation are awarded based on the child(ren)’s best interests, not on whether a parent has strayed outside of the marriage.

Infidelity does not have to be the end of your marriage.  Many couples tackle the problem head-on, and actively participate in marriage therapy to get to the root of the marital problems.  As uncomfortable as that might be, it is potentially an easier process, with a happier ending, than pursuing a breakup and dissolution of the marriage.  However, at the same time, consulting with a divorce attorney may help you plan for the worst-case scenario and give you the guidance you need to avoid making foolish and emotional mistakes that can haunt you for years down the road.

For more information about the dissolution of marriage in California, or if you want more information about other California family law and divorce issues, please contact attorney Gary D. Sparks at (925) 465-2500 or (707) 398-6008.  You may also contact us directly through our website by clicking on the “Contact Us” links and buttons to the right of this article.