It is not uncommon for an extramarital affair to lead to a divorce. As a result every so often a scorned spouse will come into my office with the hope that their spouse’s infidelity will give them advantage in their divorce case. Sometimes a client thinks that the Court will be more likely to give them more parenting time with their kids, other clients assume they will be able to walk away from the marriage with more of their property. Unfortunately, neither of these assumptions are the case in Colorado. This is because Colorado is a no fault state, thus by law infidelities are not generally taken into consideration by Colorado courts. In sum, the court does not care why the marriage is ending, it only cares what is going to happen moving forward.
However, there are a couple narrow exceptions when being the scorned spouse could provide slight advantage in their divorce. For example, one exception is if the parent’s affair put the parties’ minor children in danger. For example, if they left your young children home alone, or exposed them to marijuana smoke. In these cases it is not the affair itself that is leading to the advantage in court, it is a consequence of the affair that led to the advantage.
Another exception is if the unfaithful spouse racked up a large amount of debt as a result of the affair. For example if your ex took a lavish trip with their paramour which created a $10,000.00 credit card debt without your knowledge, then the court would likely not find that you’re responsible for that debt. This is because the debt was incurred without your knowledge for a non-marital purpose that you did not benefit from.