Is Cheating Illegal in Arizona?
No. Cheating on your spouse is not illegal in Arizona. Arizona is a no-fault divorce state. That means your spouse’s bad behavior is generally irrelevant in your divorce unless he or she is spending money on hookers and drugs or there is an issue related to child custody.
There is no question that an affair can destroy a marriage. However, can you make your cheating ex pay for it? In Arizona, the answer is generally no. However, see Waste, for a separate discussion of recouping costs.
Arizona courts typically have a “no-fault” rule which means that no one is “blamed” for the divorce one way or another. Evidence of infidelity, abuse, or other bad behavior is not taken into consideration when awarding a divorce. If the couple seeking a divorce had entered into a “covenant marriage,” which simply involves attending marital counseling before walking down the aisle, they may be eligible for a fault divorce. In that case, you may present evidence of cheating, and if the evidence is deemed sufficient, a quick divorce will be granted, along with a higher sum of the settlement for the plaintiff as retribution.
Alimony, or spousal maintenance, is a different story. When determining how much in alimony a spouse should be awarded, the court takes into account such issues as whether or not the spouse initiating the divorce will be able to maintain the same financial security (and pay their bills) as he/she did while married. Whether or not the spouse is mentally/psychologically and physically able to provide for themselves, and if they have the education or training to do so are other factors, as well as whether or not the spouse to be receiving alimony had given up career/financial opportunities for their marriage.
For the spouse who will be paying the alimony, his/her ability to do so is considered. In other words, if the spouse who initiated the divorce demonstrates a need for the alimony to provide for themselves, and the paying spouse is able to meet the required amount, then alimony will most likely be awarded. Alimony can be given for a limited period of time, or it can be for the rest of the spouse’s life. Whether or not the spouse ordered to pay alimony was abusive, alienating, or otherwise during the marriage, however, is not considered for alimony payment in most states.
If you have been betrayed or mistreated by a spouse, there is a way out, and a way to get what you are owed. Why could it be owed to you? Well, because most enter in a marriage believing that they are in love and it will be forever. If this happily-ever-after is destroyed by a spouse’s revealed recklessness or instability, you could be entitled to repayment for emotional, and/or physical damages of the collapse.
It always pays off to seek out the advice of a divorce lawyer when you feel ready to end a marriage, and discuss what can be done in your state. Contact an experienced family law attorney today to learn more about your rights if you are approaching an upcoming divorce to get your questions answered.