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Adultery and Divorce in Arizona 101: All the Basics You Need to Know

If you are considering a divorce in Arizona, it is important to understand the adultery laws that may impact your case. Adultery is defined as sexual intercourse between a married person and someone who is not their spouse. In Arizona, adultery can be used as grounds for divorce, and can also affect the outcome of child custody cases. In this article, we will provide an overview of the adultery laws in Arizona, and discuss how they may impact your divorce case.

Adultery and Divorce in Arizona

In Arizona, adultery is considered a criminal offense. Adultery is defined as sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than their spouse. However, it should be noted that this law is rarely enforced. In fact, in most cases, adultery is only used as grounds for divorce. If you are considering filing for divorce in Arizona, you will need to prove that your marriage has been irretrievably broken due to one of the following reasons:

  • Adultery
  • Desertion
  • Cruelty
  • Incurable insanity

Each state has its own set of laws governing divorce proceedings. It is important to consult with an attorney who can help guide you through the process and ensure that your rights are protected.

What is considered adultery in Arizona, and what are the penalties for it?

Adultery is defined as sexual intercourse between a married person and someone who is not their spouse. In Arizona, this is considered a felony offense and is punishable by up to five years in prison.

However, if the act of adultery was committed while the offender was separated from their spouse, it may be classified as a misdemeanor offense instead. This is typically only the case if there are no children involved and both parties agree to the divorce.

Adultery Laws in Arizona

Adultery is not a crime, but it can be used as grounds for divorce. If one party to the divorce alleges that the other party committed adultery, the court will consider this when making its decision.

There are two types of divorces in Arizona: fault-based and no-fault. A fault-based divorce is one where one party blames the other for causing the breakdown of the marriage. Adultery can be used as grounds for a fault-based divorce in Arizona. In a no-fault divorce, both parties agree that the marriage has ended and there is no need to assign blame. Adultery is not grounds for a no-fault divorce in Arizona.

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Is Adultery Grounds for Divorce in Arizona?

Adultery is one of the most common grounds for divorce in Arizona. Adultery can have a significant impact on the outcome of your divorce, both emotionally and legally. If you are considering filing for divorce on the grounds of adultery, it is important to understand all of the potential implications. 

Here are some things you should know about Adultery and Divorce in Arizona:

  • Arizona is a no-fault state, which means that fault is not considered when determining whether or not to grant a divorce. However, fault can be considered when deciding how to divide property or award spousal support. Adultery may be taken into consideration if it resulted in the dissipation of marital assets (such as spending large sums of money on a lover).
  • Adultery can also impact child custody. If one parent has been unfaithful, the court may consider this when making decisions about parenting time and legal decision-making. The court may believe that the parent who committed adultery is not capable of making good decisions about the best interests of the child.

How to File for Divorce in Arizona

If you are considering a divorce in Arizona, the first thing you need to do is determine which type of divorce you qualify for. The two types of divorces in Arizona are no-fault and fault. 

A no-fault divorce is when one spouse decides that the marriage is irretrievably broken and there is no hope of repairing it. To file for a no-fault divorce in Arizona, both spouses must have lived separately for at least three months before filing and cannot be living together at the time of filing. 

A fault divorce is based on one spouse’s allegations that the other spouse has committed adultery, been physically or emotionally abusive, or abandoned them.

If you decide to file for a fault divorce in Arizona, you will need to prove your allegations. This can be done through witness testimony, evidence such as emails or text messages, or financial records. It is important to note that the court may not necessarily grant a divorce if one spouse alleges fault against the other. The court will look at all of the facts and circumstances of your case and make a decision based on what is best for the children and/or both spouses.

Once you have determined which type of divorce you want to file, you will need to gather some information and documents. You will need:

  • Your marriage license
  • Copies of any separation agreements or court orders related to custody or support
  • Tax returns from the past three years
  • Your most recent pay stubs
  • Bank statements from the past three months
  • Retirement account information
  • Credit card statements from the past three months

Once you have gathered all of this information, you will need to complete some divorce papers. The Arizona Judicial Branch offers a helpful guide on how to complete these papers.

Are You Looking for a Family Law Attorney You Can Trust?

The attorneys at GillespieShields are well-versed in a variety of different legal fields, ranging from family law to civil suits, employment disputes and probate cases. Although we specialize in several areas of practice, our greatest passion is family law. We believe in giving families peace of mind no matter their situation, and we fight hard to maintain that peace. Whether you’re filing for dissolution or divorce, determining custody of your children, or thinking about adopting children, our experienced attorneys are here to help you every step of the way.  During our private, one-on-one consultation, we’ll take the necessary time to answer all of our questions surrounding Arizona’s family laws, your family’s unique situation, and the possible court outcomes. Contact us today for your consultation!


The materials available on this website are for informational and entertainment purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.  You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this site without seeking legal or other professional advice. The information presented on this website may not reflect the most current legal developments.  No action should be taken in reliance on the information contained on this website and we disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this site to the fullest extent permitted by law.


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