All About Adultery Laws in California

Adultery is an illegal act in California. The legal definition of adultery in California can be found in Section 319, which says that an individual commits adultery when they have sexual intercourse with anyone who is not their spouse, while still being in a marriage. Adultery refers to sexual relations with any person who is not your spouse, which includes intimate acts between individuals of the same sex or opposite sexes.

Definition and Implications of Adultery in California

Adultery is a common law doctrine that makes it illegal for a married person to have sexual relations with another individual while they are still legally bound to their spouse. Implications of Adultery implies that the action of adultery is not only a personal offense against one’s spouse, but it can also damage your marriage and family by affecting the community.

What Role Does Adultery Play in a California Divorce?

Adultery can have a significant role in a California divorce. It is “conduct which destroys the marital relationship.” In other words, it’s behavior that breaks up a marriage by having an affair or sexual relations with someone else while married to another person. If you have evidence of adultery, it can be a factor in California divorce.

Adultery can be a major factor in deciding alimony and child custody. California is called a “no-fault” divorce state, which means adultery doesn’t need to be proven for the judge’s consideration or decision if you file under irreconcilable differences (a form of no-fault).

However, even though it isn’t a required factor to prove, adultery can still heavily impact the outcome of your divorce case. If you’re seeking alimony or sole custody of your children, for example, your spouse’s adultery could work against them.

Generally speaking, the court will look at several factors when making decisions about child custody and support.

How Does Adultery Affect Divorce in CA?

Adultery is still considered to be a ground for divorce in California. This means that if your spouse committed adultery, you can file for legal separation or annulment based on it. You may not receive any financial support from your partner after filing for an annulment; however, you will most likely get sole custody over any children you share.

If your spouse cheated on you, but you don’t want to get a divorce, California law still allows you to file for legal separation. This will give you some of the same rights and protections as a divorced couple would have, such as child custody and division of property You are not allowed to remarry until the legal separation is complete.

There are also several ways that adultery can impact alimony payments in California. If your adulterous spouse was receiving spousal support from you at the time of the affair, that support may be terminated or reduced.

How adultery impacts divorce in California:

– In many states, including Florida, New York, and California – proving that your spouse cheated on you is enough to receive a financial settlement from them because they “abandoned” the marriage (or relationship).

– Most courts will consider alimony payments if there was an affair involved before filing for divorce.

– The court may also consider whether one party has been unfaithful when determining which parent should get custody over children born during the marriage (if any).

– If you are the party that cheated on your spouse, it is likely that any custody or visitation rights you have will be revoked.

How Does Adultery Affect Alimony Awards in California?

One of the most common questions people have about adultery laws in California is how they affect alimony awards. In general, courts will consider adultery when making decisions about spousal support. There are a few things to keep in mind, though.

  • First, if the adulterous spouse was financially dependent on the other spouse, that spouse may be entitled to more alimony.
  • Second, if the other spouse committed adultery with a person of a “substantially higher station” than themselves, they might not get any spousal support at all. This is because California judges are supposed to take into account the couple’s social standing when making their decisions about alimony awards.
  • Third, under certain circumstances, courts can order one party to pay temporary alimony for several months while permanent arrangements are made after a separation but before a final decree of dissolution is entered.


 Adultery can have a significant impact on alimony awards in California, but the specifics of each case will depend on the unique circumstances involved. If you’re considering filing for divorce and are worried about how adultery might affect your case, it’s important to speak with an experienced family law attorney who can advise you on your best course of action.