Does Adultery Have a Place in Washington Divorce Cases?

By November 20, 2017 February 18th, 2020 No Comments

Washington is one of many states that has adopted a “no-fault” divorce system. What this means is that any couple can file for divorce for any — or no— reason at all. Before the advent of no-fault divorces, one spouse had to prove that their spouse did something that legally violated the terms of their marital contract. One of these violations was the act of adultery. So, does adultery still play a role in Washington state divorces? Let’s dig in.

Judges Discourage Divorce Explanations

Because Washington is a no-fault state, most judges really, truly are not interested in hearing the reasons why you and your spouse may be divorcing. In fact, most will refuse to listen to any airing of dirty laundry in the courtroom. It’s best to stick to the pertinent details and resist the urge to discuss your grievances about your marriage on the record.

Adultery & Divorce

Even if a spouse admits to committing adultery, Washington courts are not allowed to let this factor into their decisions regarding custody and alimony. In fact, they are beholden to making judgments “without regard to misconduct.” This is good news for those who get caught cheating, but it can be frustrating to the cheated-upon spouse to see their assets divided evenly. Alas, no-fault divorces are vital for eliminating any remaining societal stigma regarding divorce and have made the entire process much smoother.

Trusted Divorce, Business & Real Estate Law Representation

If you are considering a divorce for any reason, contact John L. Davis PLLC today at (360) 597-4740 to discuss your options. Oftentimes divorce raises questions related to shared business and real estate assets, especially in high asset divorces. Our firm specifically focuses on the intersection of these seemingly different practice areas to provide a holistic legal experience that fully benefits our clients.

We have helped countless clients in Vancouver and the surrounding areas sort out family, business, and real estate law issues and move forward. We are eager to do the same for you.