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My husband committed adultery and wants a divorce. What are my rights and what am I entitled to?

Fontana, CA |

We own properties, a home, an RV, and cars. We’ve been married for 18 years.

I wanted to know if I'm entitled to his retirement and social security disability. Can I keep the lifestyle we've created and worked hard for?

Attorney Answers 3


You are entitled to half of the community property, including retirement, and spousal support and child support.

Contact a family law attorney in Fontana. They are listed on Avvo.

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I am sorry to hear that your husband committed adultery and that he wants a divorce. While I know that the fact that he committed adultery is upsetting to you (to say the least), it is not relevant in the divorce action. California is a no-fault divorce state, which means that the reasons for the divorce are of no consequence.

In any event, you would be entitled to one-half of any community property assets and debts. Community property consists of assets accumulated as a result of work that either or both of you did from the date of marriage until the date of separation (which has already occurred). To the extent that the home, RV, and cars were purchased with community property funds, they are 50/50 assets. To the extent that he made contributions into his retirement during the marriage and prior to the separation, you are entitled to one-half of the current value of those contributions. Since you were married for 18 years, you are entitled to an interest in his Social Security Benefits. You may also been entitled to child support, spousal support, and a contribution toward your attorney fees (depending upon the situation).

Since you were married for 18 years, you will most likely be entitled to indefinite spousal support. That means that the longer you wait to obtain an order for the support, the more money you lose because you cannot get support for a period of time before you filed the appropriate motion seeking it.

I have been answering many questions on AVVO and giving my opinion of what will occur if a matter went before a judicial officer based upon the facts as I understand them. However, I want to point out that such an opinion is based upon many factors, not the least of which is that the parties have an experienced family law attorney representing them on the matter. If facts and issues of law are not properly placed before the court, the results could be very different than otherwise expected.

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When you divide a household into two and still only have the same amount of money, it's nearly impossible for either party to keep the same lifestyle. That being said, the goal is for each party to remain as close as possible to the marital standard of living, which sounds like it was fairly high in your case.

As the previous answer mentioned, California is a no-fault state, and his adultery will have no impact on the property issues in your case.

That being said, you still have rights and entitlements in your case. California is also a community property state, which means that from the date of marriage to the date of separation, the presumption is that everything bought, earned, or borrowed is a joint asset or debt, no matter who actually earned, bought, or borrowed it.

Due to the seemingly complex property issues in your case, you will want to find a competent family law attorney who can walk you through the process, advise you of your rights, and fight to protect those rights. Good luck!

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