People tend to think that courts in Utah are very strict when it comes to punishing infidelity and extra-marital affairs when it comes to property division and determining alimony in a divorce.
And while unfaithfulness and adultery can play a role in the outcome of your divorce, this role is often exaggerated. The truth is that even if one of the spouses cheated, he or she can still expect the property to be divided fairly and equitably.
“Equitably does not mean equally or a 50/50 split,” explains our Salt Lake City property division attorney at the Emy A Cordano, Attorney At Law
This is the question we have recently received from one of our clients, “Can a wife expect a property to be split equally if she cheated on her husband?”
And the answer is, “Yes.” As we have mentioned earlier, people tend to overestimate the importance of adultery and infidelity in marriages. Certainly, there are occasional cases when the fact that one of the spouses engaged in extra-marital affairs will result in an unequal division of property or the unfaithful payor will be ordered to pay more alimony, but these cases are rare.
In the state of Utah, courts ensure a fair division of property between both spouses. However, there may be exceptions when misconduct or certain acts or omission to act on the part of one of the spouses results in a slightly unequal division of property. But infidelity is usually not one of the acts that will be considered when determining alimony or dividing property unless it played a substantial role in the dissolution of the marriage.
Infidelity on the part of the payor may, however, result in a slightly greater alimony or extend the duration of alimony in some cases. “But it would be out of the extraordinary if the court took the coupe’s entire house away from the unfaithful spouse or something of this sort,” explains our experienced property division attorney in Salt Lake City.
In order to understand the impact of extra-marital affairs and adultery on the outcome of divorce, it is vital to learn how family courts in Salt Lake City and elsewhere in Utah divide marital property.
As a general rule, the family court will accept a fair and reasonable property division if both spouses agree to it. But if no consensus can be reached without the involvement of the family court, both parties can hire a Salt Lake City property division attorney to ensure that marital property is divided between the two spouses fairly and equitably.
When dividing property between the spouses, courts exercise discretion as opposed to being guided by a set of rules for property division. Even though judges enjoy discretion when dividing property in a divorce, certain factors will be taken into account, including but not limited to the length of the marriage and who of the spouses played a bigger role in acquiring and maintaining the property. Infidelity and adultery are usually not considered by courts.
A judge will also consider the financial condition and needs of each spouse after the divorce, as well as each party’s ability to produce income and afford the cost of living. After considering all of the above-mentioned and other factors, property may be divided either equally or unequally.
Do you have more questions about how Utah courts divide property in a divorce? Consult with our best property division lawyers in Utah at the Emy A Cordano, Attorney At Law. Call our offices at 801-804-5152 or complete this contact form for a free case evaluation.