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Effects of Infidelity on Divorce in Washington

Infidelity is not a cause that can affect divorce in Washington. In fact, Washington is a no-fault divorce state. This basically means that either partner in a marriage is not obliged in any way to present before a court a reason for divorce. Irretrievably Broken is the term used to describe a marriage wherein the marriage is damaged beyond restoration. In an Irretrievably broken marriage situation, the judge can issue a divorce decree to the spouse that asked for it without any further consultation of advice.

Alimony:

A no-fault state like Washington does not make alimony mandatory or to be paid as default in case of an extramarital affair. However, it is the presiding judge’s prerogative to chart out an alimony agreement while taking into consideration certain factors such as:

  • The marriage duration
  • The financial condition, as well as the emotional and physical conditions of the spouse requesting alimony, will be considered before a decision is arrived upon
  • Other factors that will be taken into consideration are the time and money required by the spouse seeking alimony to fulfill an education or training requirement that would help her/him find adequate employment.
  • The standard of living that was maintained by the couple during their marriage would be examined. For example, the locality of their stay, the cost of property and rentals in that area and the kind of residential premises they lived in during their marriage.
  • Every day costs and needs will be considered before alimony is decided.

Infidelity in Washington
Reasons for Divorce and whose fault is it?

The courts in the state of Washington as a matter of policy exclude evidence that shows the cause of divorce being the fault of the other spouse. However, the court reserves the right to consider factors and scenarios that existed in the marriage, to arrive at a fair and reasonable economic result. Some such factors that may have caused a divorce are:

  • The spouse had a gambling problem and as a result, lost a lot of money and assets or the affair entailed spending a lot of money on lavish gifts, accumulated huge hotel bills and therefore the victim had to suffer economic hardships within the marriage because of the affair.
  • Where the spouse knowingly used and depleted family resources to feed his object of infidelity, namely another person.
  • A crime done by the spouse resulted in the seizure of property by law enforcement agencies which was originally co-owned by both partners.
  • A spouse failed to support his own family and kids while diverting his or her resources to another partner or family elsewhere.

In order for a court to consider a spouse’s bad conduct and fault him or her for the split, the economic consequences should outweigh significantly. In fact, this is the only way a court can decree a result which is fair.

Effects of Infidelity on Divorce in Washington

Infidelity and Child Custody:

Custody of the child and parenting schedules are determined while keeping in mind the best interest of the child. If either parent behaves in ways that endanger the child and his or her well-being is threatened in any way, then restriction will be imposed for access to the child or children. For example, if a parent does not spend time with their children or if the spouse has a drinking or drug problem that he is unable to kick, physical or emotional neglect are all causes that may sway custody rights of children.

Waiting period:

A divorce process can be painful traumatic and stressful Thus a person going through it would want to get it over with as soon as possible. However, there is a waiting period prescribed by every state that needs to be fulfilled before the court finally pronounces its verdict. This waiting period varies from state to state. While some states have a six month waiting period, others can go as low as a few weeks.

The state of Washington has a mandatory waiting period of 90 days from the day the divorce application was filed in court.

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