Arizona Divorce Laws on Adultery

Learn About Arizona Divorce Laws on Adultery and Infidelity from Our Arizona Licensed Divorce Attorney Chris Hildebrand of Hildebrand Law, PC.

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Arizona Criminal and Civil Laws on Adultery

We want to talk to you about Arizona divorce laws on adultery. Arizona has criminal and civil laws on adultery. Arizona Revised Statute Section 13-1408 makes adultery a class one misdemeanor and Arizona Revised Statute Section 25-318(c) provides a civil claim of waste for any funds spent to further the adultery.

It is important to know whether adultery has an impact on an Arizona divorce case. Although going through a divorce can be a devastating emotional process, those emotions are intensified when the divorce is the result of adultery. There are Arizona divorce laws that apply when adultery causes a divorce.

First, you need to know Arizona is a no-fault divorce state, which means Arizona divorce laws do not require either party to establish the other spouse is at fault for the divorce, whether that fault be the result of adultery or some other reason. All that is needed for divorce is for one of the parties to testify that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

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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. Specifically, there are certain issues in the divorce case that render the infidelity relevant and, therefore, evidence of the cheating necessary to establish a claim of “waste of community assets.”

Arizona Civil Laws on Adultery

Arizona Divorce Laws on Adultery.

Arizona civil laws on adultery provide that both spouses owe a fiduciary duty to each other in the management of their community assets and debts similar to the obligation 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 infidelity may be considered a 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 a husband or wife spent community assets on the affair.

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 husband or wife. Such actions are referred to as civil causes of action and are filed in state court or federal court if the mistress and the innocent spouse live in separate states. A jury can hear these cases. Not all jurisdictions recognize these types of lawsuits, so consult with an attorney in your state.

Arizona Divorce Laws Infidelity.

Arizona Criminal Laws on Adultery

Arizona criminal laws on adultery are 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, expressly 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 from a third party.

If you have questions about Arizona divorce laws on adultery, you should seriously consider contacting the attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC. Our Arizona divorce and family law attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience successfully representing clients in divorce and family law cases.

Our family law firm has earned numerous awards such as US News and World Reports Best Arizona Family Law Firm, US News and World Report Best Divorce Attorneys, “Best of the Valley” by Arizona Foothills readers, and “Best Arizona Divorce Law Firms” by North Scottsdale Magazine.

Call us today at (480)305-8300 or reach out to us through our appointment scheduling form to schedule your personalized consultation and turn your divorce or family law case around today.

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Author Bio:

Chris Hildebrand

Chris Hildebrand

Chris Hildebrand, an Arizona licensed divorce attorney, wrote this article about Arizona divorce laws on adultery to ensure everyone has access to information about adultery laws in Arizona.

Chris is a family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards and has written and/or contributed to published articles on divorce and family law in Arizona.