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Wife commits adultery and I have to pay alimony? Why?

San Diego, CA |

I found out that my wife was cheating on me, so I’m divorcing her. I found out that I might have to pay alimony to her? She cheated on me, why do I have to give her my money? Why does the court not take this into account? I don’t know why I have to support someone that doesn't love me and has hurt me.

Thank you for the replies so far. But what I am trying to to ask is "why does the court not care about her cheating?" I understand it's a "no-fault" state, that's why I'm upset, but what is the possible justification for this?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. You really need a face to face consultation with an attorney to educate yourself on what to expect here. California is a no fault state. It does not matter who did what (with the exception of domestic violence). It does not matter who had the affair or whatever caused the split. The high earner pays alimony to support the low earner. That's the law. See an attorney as soon as possible, so he or she can advise you on what else you can expect.

    Michael is in San Jose, California and can be reached at 408-295-4232 or at schwerin@ix.netcom.com. Consultation fees, rates and retainers vary based on need and ability to pay.


  2. Your frustration is understandable. As my colleague points out, however, this is a state that permits divorce based on irreconcilable differences, not fault. "Your money" is actually community money and the rights to spousal support are based on ability to pay. Law is not always the same as justice. Laws are adopted by the legislature, for better or for worse.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.


  3. I am sorry that you are faced with such a sad situation. California has a no-fault divorce law, so the Court won't consider your wife's infidelity in determining the issue of Spousal Support. Spousal Support during a divorce case is based on your county's Spousal Support guidelines, which take your income and her income into consideration. Spousal Support at time of trial or settlement of a divorce case is based on Family Code Section 4320 considerations. You should retain or at least consult an experienced Family Law Attorney regarding your divorce.

    Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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