Infidelity is a leading cause in many failed marriages across the United States. While infidelity is a terrible thing for a spouse to do, especially when children are part of the marriage, the stark reality in Colorado divorce law is that adultery does not matter to the courts.
Colorado is a no-fault divorce state – you only need to show your marriage is “irretrievably broken” to be granted a divorce in the state. Only this one element needs naming in the divorce petition to dissolve the marriage.
The court does not usually need to know if the collapse of your marriage sprung from problems over money or infidelity. No one particular reason needs to be supplied when you request dissolution. The family court system just needs to know that the marriage is so broken that it can no longer be fixed. Acts like adultery are not considered grounds for a Colorado divorce. In fact, judges refuse to admit proof of adultery in the courtroom unless it applies to another part of your divorce case.
Is infidelity ever applicable in a Colorado divorce? The answer is yes. Adultery or infidelity may be an important factor in several other divorce-related issues— such as child custody, spousal support, and marital property.
A question of a parent’s moral values may be brought up, especially in a contested child custody case. Although discreet or well hidden infidelity may not directly prejudice arrangements of child custody, courts are concerned about how the infidelity can affect the children. It may be hard for a parent to gain custody of the children if they are repeatedly unfaithful, exposing the children to a bewildering environment, if they carry on in a way not suitable around the kids, or if they are neglectful of major parenting obligations due to the infidelity. A judge may exercise his discretion to grant physical custody of the children to the faithful spouse if there is proof the unfaithful spouse’s could potentially affect their parenting abilities negatively.
If an individual cheats on his or her spouse and wastes marital money on a lover, such as paying for secret trysts, buying him or her expensive gifts, or simply spending money to support the third party – then the adulterer may be disciplined for his or her behavior when the duration or amount of alimony to be awarded is determined by the court.
Marital property is generally split 50/50 in a Colorado divorce settlement, as it is an “equitable distribution” state. If it can be shown, however, that the unfaithful spouse spent money on gifts, trips, and other expenses in order to conduct an extramarital affair, then the courts may determine the equitable distribution of assets should require a larger share to the faithful spouse.