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The impact of using sites like Ashley Madison on Divorces in Colorado

In light of the recent Ashley Madison developments many people have questions about how infidelity, extramarital affairs, or other misconduct impacts a Divorce in Colorado. Here are some questions that you may be asking:

Q: If my spouse cheated can I get a divorce?

A: Colorado is a "no fault" divorce state, which means either party may request a divorce if they believe the marriage is over. Dating on Ashley Madison or other marital misconduct is not relevant for property division, maintenance, child support, or attorney fees. It also is not a factor for custody issues, unless the children witnessed the infidelity.

Q: If I had an affair will my spouse get the house and all the property?

A: In Colorado the court is required to divide marital property equitably without regard to marital misconduct.

Q: If my spouse was unfaithful can I get full custody of the children?

A: Colorado law says that the court should not consider conduct of a party that does not affect the party's relationship with the child when determining custody (In Colorado, custody and visitation are referred to as the "Allocation of Parental Responsibilities"). Having an extramarital affair alone will likely not impact custody and visitation. However, if a spouse is repeatedly engaging in risky sexual conduct that creates a physical, emotional, financial, or criminal risk, this may be a sign of an underlying problem that needs to be addressed.

Q: Should a spouse be concerned about using the internet for sites such as Ashley Madison, Craigslist, Backpage, pornography sites and the like?

A: Although conduct outside the presence of a child should not be relevant, the use of such sites may draw the focus of your spouse or his or her attorney. You should also keep in mind that you cannot delete or destroy electronic evidence, during or in anticipation of litigation.

Q: If I tell my lawyer about my Ashley Madison experiences, will the lawyer be required to disclose it to my spouse?

A: All communications with a lawyer are confidential, with some very limited exceptions. Your lawyer may help alleviate fears you have about the Ashley Madison disclosures. We at Cooper & Tanis, P.C. are ready to answer all of your questions.

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