Arizona Divorce Laws Adultery
Arizona Divorce Laws Adultery | Effect upon a Divorce in Arizona
Some people want to know what the Arizona divorce laws on adultery are? Does adultery have an impact on an Arizona divorce case and is there an Arizona anti adultery law? Although going through a divorce can be a devastating emotional process, the intensity of those emotions are typically intensified when the divorce is the result of adultery. There are Arizona divorce laws that apply when a divorce is caused by adultery.
Many people have questions regarding the Arizona divorce laws on adultery and the effect an adultery has in a divorce in Arizona. Arizona is a no fault divorce state, which means the Arizona divorce laws on adultery provide that neither party is required to provide grounds for a divorce. All that is needed is for one of the parties to testify that the marriage is “irretrievably broken”.
However, this doesn’t mean that the Arizona divorce laws on adultery mean a spouse’s affair does not play a role in the Arizona divorce process. It also doesn’t mean that both the adulterous spouse or their paramour do not potentially face serious consequences relating to their affair under the Arizona divorce laws on adultery; both criminal and civil. Specifically, there are certain issues in the divorce case that render the infidelity relevant and, therefore, evidence of the infidelity necessary to establish a claim of “waste of community assets”.
Arizona Divorce Laws Adultery| Legal Claims
To start, Arizona divorce laws provide that both spouses owe a fiduciary duty to each other in the management of their community assets and debts similar to the duty partners in a business owe a duty to protect their mutual interests for the good of their jointly owned business. Therefore, any money spent by the adulterous spouse on their paramour or in furtherance of their adulterous actions may be considered waste of a community asset.
The innocent spouse, under the Arizona divorce laws on adultery, would receive more of the community assets or, perhaps, less of the community debts that he or she would have otherwise received to compensate the innocent spouse. A qualified Arizona divorce attorney will look at cash withdrawals from ATM’s, credit card statements, and bank statements to determine if such expenditures were made.
Some states also recognize a personal injury claim of tortious interference with a marital relationship, which may enable the innocent spouse to file a lawsuit against the paramour of the adulterous spouse. Such actions are referred to as civil causes of action and may be filed in state court or in federal court if the paramour and the innocent spouse live in separate states. These cases are typically presented in front of a jury. Understand that not all states recognize these types of lawsuits, so consult with an attorney in your state.
Lastly, the Arizona divorce laws on adultery found in Arizona Revised Statute 13-1408 makes infidelity leading to sexual intercourse illegal in Arizona. Both the adulterous spouse and their paramour can be criminally charged and tried before a jury.
If found guilty by a jury, they will be guilty of a class three misdemeanor and can face jail time. The statute, however, specifically provides that the law may only be enforced upon the complaint of the innocent spouse. Law enforcement may not arrest, nor may a prosecutor file charges, upon the complaint of an uninvolved third party.
It is important to speak to an experienced Arizona divorce lawyer if you have any questions regarding the Arizona divorce process to ensure you protect your interests and the best interests of your children.