Divorce can be a challenging and emotionally charged process, and the question of whether a cheating spouse loses rights often arises. In California, where no-fault divorce is the norm, the impact of infidelity on divorce proceedings may not be as straightforward as one might think. In this blog post, we’ll explore the implications of infidelity in California divorces, touching on property division, alimony, and child custody. If you find yourself navigating the complexities of divorce, consider reaching out to Ewing Mediation & Family Law for expert assistance in Torrance and the South Bay, California.

Answering the Question: Does a cheating spouse lose rights in a divorce in California

Does Infidelity Affect Divorce?

In California, the concept of no-fault divorce means that spouses do not have to provide a specific reason for seeking a divorce. A spouse does not have the option of stating infidelity as ‘grounds’ for divorce. The court does not consider infidelity as a determining factor in divorce proceedings. However, there are scenarios where the effects of infidelity can manifest in different aspects of the divorce process.

Property Division

California operates under community property laws, meaning marital assets are typically divided equally. If a spouse spent marital funds on an affair, they may be required to reimburse the marital estate for improper diversion of marital funds.


While infidelity itself may not be grounds for awarding or denying alimony or spousal support, certain circumstances can come into play. If the adulterous spouse moves in with a new partner during the divorce proceedings, or if the affair leads to tangible damages (such as an STI or the need for mental health care), these factors may be considered in alimony decisions. However, alimony is primarily awarded based on the financial needs of one spouse post-divorce. There are numerous factors that must be considered, which are beyond the scope of this article.

Child Custody

In most cases, infidelity does not directly impact child custody decisions. However, if the adulterous spouse’s behavior poses a threat to the well-being of the children, or the behavior demonstrates that the children’s needs are not being addressed, it may be considered in custody disputes. For instance, leaving children unsupervised during visits with a new partner or engaging in inappropriate behavior in front of the children could influence custody arrangements.

Why Divorce Mediation Is The Right Choice

Given the complexities of divorce, choosing the right approach is crucial. Divorce mediation provides a unique alternative, allowing spouses to collaborate in making decisions that affect their future.

In mediation, a neutral third party, the mediator, assists both spouses in resolving concerns and reaching agreements. This process fosters an amicable and cost-effective divorce, minimizing emotional trauma for all parties involved.

By opting for divorce mediation, couples can ensure that the division of assets, liabilities, and decisions regarding children are made with their best interests in mind. It’s a smart choice that prioritizes financial considerations, emotional well-being, and the preservation of relationships.

Why Contact Ewing Mediation & Family Law

Ewing Mediation and Family Law specializes in providing a compassionate and effective alternative to traditional divorce litigation. With over 30 years of experience, their expertise, successful outcomes, and compassionate approach set them apart.

Choosing Ewing Mediation means choosing:

  • Expertise: Over 30 years of skill and knowledge in mediation and family law.
  • Successful Outcomes: Consistent track record of helping spouses resolve issues effectively and amicably.
  • Compassion: Understanding the emotional toll of divorce and providing support every step of the way. 

If you’re facing divorce, child custody, or other family-related issues in Torrance and the South Bay, California, Ewing Mediation and Family Law can guide you toward a resolution that meets your legal needs while preserving your well-being and that of your loved ones. Contact them to navigate the challenges of divorce litigation and find a path forward that serves your interests well.