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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34516
Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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If my wife has committed adultery, what are her rights to property

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If my wife has committed adultery, what are her rights to property? Our house was purchased before we were married, under my name, and then she was added to the title after we got married. Also, we've always had seperate bank accounts as she needed to keep hers seperate for business. She also had a child of 8 years old when we got married. The childs' father is still in the picture. He's a good dad.
We've been married for 1 year 5 months. The adultery was committed more than once in the first year of our marriage. I'm not sure if it's still going on. Also, prior and during the first half of our marriage we both wanted to have another child and in the last 6 months she has said multiple times that she doesn't want to have any more children because it's too much work. I personally want to have kids of my own. Any insight on this situation would be greatly appreciated. I would like to keep costs and headaches to a minimum, the stress her actions have added to the marriage are enough to deal with.
Thanks & Regards,
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

CA law allows divorce on 2 grounds. Irreconcilable differences or insanity. Thats it. Its called a "no fault" state. Unlike many states, that allow a "fault" divorce, and if you can prove fault (like adultery) you can get a larger portion of the marital estate, in CA that will not work. No, does not matter the reason, the court will divide the property according to the state community property laws, regardless of her adultery.

Now, a divorce can either be contested or not contested.

Uncontested; Now the fastest, (and by far the least expensive) way to get a divorce is if you can agree on the terms. If you can agree on "who gets what" there is not a need for attorneys...this will cut the costs to a very small amount (court fees)

Contested; if you can not agree, this is a contested divorce. To proceed you need an attorney or need to act as your own attorney (very bad idea). Here the parties present evidence to the court on "who gets what" and the court decides. This take longer and involves attorney fees for both sides.

SO, if you can agree with your "soon to be ex" on who gets what, great! If not, you need an attorney.

As for the division of the property, since CA is a community property state, ALL income earned during the marriage is said to belong to the "community" does not matter if the accounts are in separate names, if the income came while married, the couple will share equally in that property.

Where it gets confusing is with "separate property" that belonged to one of the spouses prior to marriage, or that they received as a gift during the marriage.

The separate property will remain separate, unless or until its "co-mingled"...for example, the home that you put in her name...that is now a community asset. But if there are bank accounts that were opened prior to marriage and have not had income earned while married deposited in the account? Then that account would likely remain separate property

Let me know if you have more questions
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Is it too late to file for anullment do to her actions? I've read that her actions are grounds for anullment.

If it is and we file uncontested, by California state law, do we HAVE to split anything? In this case, we both just want to move on and not take monies or property from eachother, just keep what we had before the marriage.

Actually, no. What you describe would not be grounds to annul the marriage.

In CA, you can annul a marriage if it was not valid in the first place (like if there was no ceremony, or one of the spouses were underage or a relative or married to someone else).

But adultery is not grounds to annul a marriage.

Sorry to have to bear bad news.
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