This is the next post in my series discussing why a Las Vegas spouse may choose to accept a divorce settlement which gives up their rights under the law. My last post explained how a guilty conscience can lead a spouse to give up rights, to property or benefits, and regret doing so later down the road. In this post I will explain why being guilty of infidelity does not mean that a partner should be “punished” in the divorce settlement.
Nevada’s no-fault state divides property equally despite the reason for divorce
Not all states are “no fault.” In some states, if one partner cheats, then the infidelity is the formal cause of the relationship’s demise and a Judge may choose to divide the couple’s property unevenly. The thought process behind this is that the “wronged” spouse should be entitled to more property or money in a divorce because they were the “good” marriage partner. In these states, divorce trials can become quite colorful and a Judge has a great deal of leeway on how they wish to rule.
Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on what side you are on, Nevada does not care if a marriage ended because of infidelity. The reason for divorce has zero impact on how property, child support, and spousal support should be divided and assigned. If one was a stay at home housewife who has not worked in ten years then the wife does not give up her right to ask for spousal support just because she cheated. Likewise, if a man cheats on his stay at home wife then she does not get to “take him for all that he is worth.” Nevada’s no fault policy, and equal property distribution laws, seeks to keep all emotionally fueled divorce trials to a minimum. It is not necessary to drag out every skeleton in one’s marital closet during a divorce trial because it does not matter – property and financial divisions will be divided equally. Spousal support is assigned based on objective factors such as how long one spouse has been out of the workforce, the couple’s lifestyle, each partner’s employment skills, etc. Child support is mandatory in both primary and joint custody cases and is calculated based on the state’s standard formula.
Las Vegas spouses feeling guilt over infidelity should not motivate a spouse to give up legal rights
In some cases a spouse may feel so guilty for cheating on their partner, they may choose to punish themselves by waiving their right to spousal support or giving up their rights to certain assets. While it is understandable to feel guilty if one feels they have made a mistake that cost them their marriage, it is not a good idea to waive one’s rights for emotional reasons. Over time, feels of guilt fade, and newly single clients may quickly find themselves in financial hardships that could have been avoided should they have exercised their settlement rights. It can be difficult to see a long-term picture when one is dealing with raw feelings of guilt and regret. Consulting with a divorce attorney who understands the consequences of not taking advantage of what one is entitled to under the law can make a difference between having a secure future and needlessly struggling. Contact our Las Vegas divorce lawyer today for a consultation.