Divorce in Colorado, a No-Fault State
Suzanne Griffiths is one of the co-founders of Gutterman Griffiths PC, as well as a managing shareholder and the firm’s CFO. In 2016, she was awarded as the Top Lawyer in Family Law in Denver by 5280 Magazine, as well as the Lawyer of the Year in Law Week Colorado.
Often times, marriage ends in infidelity and the heartbroken and faithful partner looks for revenge and justice. Their first move is to seek a divorce attorney and file for divorce. Colorado is a no-fault divorce state. What this means is that Colorado courts will not assign fault to either party during a divorce.
When Is Infidelity Relevant To A Divorce?
If your spouse was unfaithful and you feel he or she should be punished, unfortunately you live in the wrong state. The court does not care if one party cheated and will proceed with the divorce as normal. However, there are a few instances in which marital infidelity is relevant to the outcomes of divorce.
Recapturing Marital Funds
In terms of recapturing marital funds used on a spouse’s OTHER significant other. In the courts eye’s if a party uses marital assets on an affair or post-separation, the court will take that into consideration when dividing assets to both parties. This can also include funds used while residing and/or supporting a significant other and/or their children post-separation but prior to divorce. If the court feels one party was irresponsible and wasteful with marital assets, it will likely be reflected in the final division of assets.
Children and Marital Infidelity
Marital infidelity is sometimes relevant in a divorce case when it comes to children. If the court feels that the unfaithful party used poor discretion around their children in regards to their affair, this may be reflected in the outcome of custody and parenting time. Examples of poor discretion could be exposing children to inappropriate behavior, neglecting parenting responsibilities due to the affair, and any other behavior that could have negative repercussions on children.
What to Do Next?
If you are still seeking some sort of retribution against your unfaithful spouse, unfortunately the court room is not the place to do so. These messy situations are often uncharted territory for couples seeking divorce and the uncertainty, emotions, and stress can take a large toll on a person’s wellbeing. My advice is to deal with the heartbreak and/or anger elsewhere to avoid looking foolish and unstable in the courtroom; this will only hurt your case.
Find a Support System for You and Yours
Look to your support system in these trying times. It could even be a good idea to see a therapist to help you work through your thoughts and feelings, and deal with your anger in constructive ways. It might also be favorable to think about counseling for any children involved and consider setting up an agreement outlining parent’s behavior with the child’s best interest in mind. Whatever you have to do to appear calm and collected in the courtroom will help you achieve the best outcomes for you and the children.