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DOES ADULTERY AFFECT DIVORCE?

High-profile Los Angeles couple Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom are on the marriage rocks, says the press. Kardashian has written extensively about her frustrations with Odom's alleged drug problems and infidelity through social media platforms. Recent reports speculate that separation is in the near future for the celebrity couple. According to some news sources, if they do separate or divorce, Kardashian is legally entitled to stay in the couple's magnificent Tarzana home and receive a generous amount of financial support.

WHAT THE PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT SAYS

Rumors about the contents of the Kardashian-Odom prenuptial agreement abound. While it is likely that the document specifies that Kardashian is entitled to stay in their 8,000-foot luxury mansion upon separation or divorce, Odom's adultery is not a legal factor in the amount of support she receives. California is a no-fault state. The terms of the prenuptial agreement may or may not address the issue of infidelity in the marriage. In any case, such terms are not likely to be admissible in divorce court as a relevant financial factor.

WHEN IS ADULTERY RELEVANT IN A DIVORCE CASE?

There are two circumstances in which adultery might be relevant in a divorce hearing. One would be if the unfaithful partner used marital funds to support the adulterous relationship. For example, if that partner used money from a joint account or a jointly owned credit card to take a lover on a vacation, the court may order that money to be returned in the financial settlement.

The second scenario would be if a partner exposed the children of the marriage to the affair. As California uses the guiding principle of the children's best interests in deciding all matters of child custody, exposure to an extramarital partner or other inappropriate situations might affect the court's custody and visitation decisions.

While a partner who is divorcing an unfaithful spouse might feel angry and desire financial retribution, and a cheating spouse might feel guilty enough to pay it, most judges dismiss charges of adultery as irrelevant in settlement negotiations.

If you are considering separation or divorce, we would like to speak with you. We offer compassionate representation for all of your family law needs and proudly serve the San Diego area.

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The Law Offices of Steven M. Bishop, Attorney at Law, A California Corporation
591 Camino De La Reina Suite 700
San Diego, CA 92108

Phone: 619-535-0678
Fax: 619-299-0316
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