In many states adultery and other marital misconduct can impact whether or not a spouse receives alimony. That is not the case in Arizona. We have what is known as no fault divorce.

What is no fault divorce?

No fault means that the spouse filing for divorce does not have to prove marital misconduct by the other spouse in order to get a divorce. Even there was adultery, for example, it isn’t necessary to prove it in divorce proceedings. It is the most common type of divorce in Arizona.

In many states there is a waiting period after filing before a no fault divorce will be granted. Connecticut, for example, requires a waiting period of 18 months. In Arizona there is no waiting period.

There is one exception to the no fault rule in Arizona and that is if the marriage is a covenant marriage. A covenant marriage is the same as other marriages except the couple has undergone counseling prior to marriage to strengthen their bond. In the case of adultery having taken place within a covenant marriage, you are entitled to a fault based divorce.

How does adultery impact alimony?

Simply stated, it doesn’t impact it at all. Judges are ordered to not consider adultery when determining alimony and can order if the any of the following (and more) are true:

• To maintain a similar standard of living as that during the marriage.

• The duration of the marriage.

• Age, employment history, earning potential, and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking alimony.

• The extent to which one spouse reduced their income or career potential to benefit the other spouse.

• Ability of both spouses to contribute to future educational costs of their children after divorce

There are additional considerations taken by judges in determining alimony.

If you or someone you love has questions about no-fault divorce, alimony, and other family matters, please make an appointment for a free consultation with the Stuart and Blackwell team today.