Studies have shown that over fifty percent of marriages will be affected in some way by adultery. Many of these marriages will end in divorce. If you are getting divorced because your spouse was unfaithful, you may wonder how your state’s law handles a divorce where there has been adultery. For example, some states prevent a cheating spouse from receiving alimony after the divorce.
This article will explain how adultery is treated in Nevada divorces, and specifically how it affects the rights of each spouse to receive alimony. If you have additional questions after reading this article, you should contact a Nevada family law attorney.
Overview of Alimony in Nevada
In Nevada, a court granting a divorce can award alimony to the wife or husband if they don’t have the financial resources to pay their own expenses. Courts often award alimony in addition to a division of the couple’s property, particularly when one spouse has little or no income. Often, one spouse passed over education or career opportunities during the marriage to take care of the couple’s household and children. Alimony is awarded when courts decide that the spouse with more financial resources should be required to support the spouse with less financial resources.
Alimony in Nevada can be periodic, meaning payments made on a monthly or annual basis, or lump-sum, which is usually a one-time payment. Periodic alimony payments usually end when the supported spouse gets remarried, or when either spouse dies. Courts can also award periodic alimony just for a certain period of time, or until the supported spouse is employed.
Nevada courts use the following factors to determine whether alimony should be awarded:
- each spouse’s financial situation
- how much property each spouse owns
- the contributions each spouse made to the marriage, both financial and non-financial
- the length of the marriage
- the income, earning capacity, age and health of each spouse
- the couple’s standard of living during the marriage
- the career before the marriage of the spouse to receive alimony
- education or skills gained by each spouse during the marriage
- each spouse’s ability to work, and
- any other financial resources each spouse has.
If the financial circumstances of the spouses change, courts can modify (change) the alimony payments to account for the new circumstances.
Courts don’t use a formula to calculate alimony in Nevada; each case is decided on its own. For more details on alimony in Nevada, read Understanding and Calculating Alimony in Nevada.
How Does Adultery Impact Alimony in Nevada?
Nevada courts aren’t allowed to consider either spouse’s misconduct during the marriage when deciding whether to award alimony. If the marriage ends because a spouse was unfaithful, that spouse may still be eligible for alimony if needed based on the factors listed above. When Nevada eliminated the requirement to show fault (misconduct) to get a divorce, changing to “no-fault” divorces only, it stopped considering misconduct, including adultery, when deciding alimony.
However, if a supported spouse enters into a relationship with a new partner and is being financially supported in the new relationship, Nevada courts may consider that relationship and the amount of support being received in order to determine if alimony is still appropriate.
What Else Does Adultery Impact?
When a spouse commits adultery, Nevada courts can consider money spent on the affair when deciding how to divide the couple’s property. For example, if a cheating spouse spends the married couple's savings on his or her lover - buying gifts, paying for hotel rooms and other aspects of the affair, a court may order that the cheating spouse receive a smaller portion of the couple’s remaining property. Even though Nevada has no-fault divorce, any financial misconduct, including money spent on an affair, can be considered in property division.
Adultery doesn’t usually affect the court’s decisions on child custody and visitation, unless the unfaithful spouse’s current relationship has a negative impact on the children.
Find more information about the divorce process in Nevada, read Nevada Divorce Basics.
If you have additional questions about alimony and adultery in Nevada, you should speak with an experienced family law attorney in your area.
To read the full text of the law on alimony in Nevada, see the Nevada Revised Statutes §125.150.