Adultery in Nevada - Does Cheating Affect Alimony?

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Cheating is one of society’s many evils, and it is not uncommon for the spouse who was cheated on to ask for alimony or support payments during the divorce process. In some state, cheating may allow the victim spouse to seek additional alimony, but this is not the case in every state.

As many spouses know, cheating often has consequences. Aside from the effect of cheating on the marriage itself, cheating may affect the divorce process and any alimony awards received by the spouses. Each state varies on how exactly adultery will affect an alimony award, and so this article is intended to clarify that issue for the state of Nevada.

The Nature of Divorce in Nevada

Before discussing whether adultery or cheating would affect an award of alimony or spousal support, the nature of divorce in Nevada must be examined.Nevada is a no-fault divorce state.1 As a result, marital misconduct such as adultery will not affect a court’s decision to award a divorce. A married could seeking a divorce only needs to prove that the couple is incompatible, not that any wrongdoing actually caused the marriage to collapse.

About Nevada Alimony Rules

Nevada statutes contain a comprehensive provision that directs courts how to award alimony to divorcing spouses.2 Under Nevada’s alimony statute, the primary consideration in alimony awards in fairness to both spouses. For this reason a spouse who is unable to pay for alimony will not be asked to do so even if the circumstances would otherwise warrant it.

In general, Nevada courts must use a series of statutory factors to help make determinations about the amount and duration of alimony awards. These factors include:

  • Each spouse’s financial condition;
  • The nature and value of property owned by each spouse after the divorce;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • Each spouse’s earning capacity and occupation;
  • The standard of living during the marriage;
  • The physical and mental health of each spouse; and
  • Whether a spouse contributed to the marriage as a homemaker.

In addition to normal alimony awards, a Nevada divorce court may also award alimony for the purpose of helping a spouse obtain sufficient education or training to hold a job that can provide a suitable income.

The Effect of Adultery and Other For-Cause Grounds for Divorce on Alimony

Nevada is a no-fault divorce state, and it’s no-fault divorce theme carries through to its alimony determinations. When considering an award of alimony, the court may not consider either party's misconduct or fault.3 This means that Nevada divorce courts are not allowed to consider a spouse’s adulterous behavior when making alimony determinations.

The Verdict:

A spouse’s infidelity is not a justified consideration in determining alimony in Nevada. This is because alimony determinations are made purely under financial considerations in most no-fault divorce states. Judges cannot use alimony to punish an adulterous spouse for his or her behavior. Adulterous spouses may even be eligible to receive alimony.

If your spouse has been cheating on you and you plan to sue for divorce, you should consider contacting a local divorce attorney for assistance. Divorces involving adultery claims tend to be very messy lawsuits and will be very difficult to litigate on your own. Your rights can be best protected by proactively protecting your ability to succeed in your divorce litigation.

Note: This is not legal advice. Please consult a lawyer for your specific situation.

Resources:

  1. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 125.010.
  2. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 125.150.
  3. Rodriguez v. Rodriguez, 116 Nev. 993, 13 P.3d 415, 116 Nev. Adv. Rep. 107 (Nev. 2000).