Adultery and Divorce in Arizona

Q: Is adultery grounds for divorce in Arizona?

Arizona no-fault divorce attorneys are often approached by clients who have either committed adultery or claim their spouse has done so, and are wondering if adultery is grounds for a divorce.

With the exception of “covenant marriages” – which arise where couples had undergone special premarital counseling – Arizona is a no-fault divorce state. That means, either spouse can get a divorce if they believe the marriage is “irretrievably broken” without having to prove the other spouse is to blame for the marriage ending. So, adultery is not grounds for a divorce because there’s no need to establish any grounds (except in a covenant marriage). Covenant marriages only account for about one percent of all Arizona marriages.

It should be noted however that adultery is a misdemeanor criminal offense in Arizona. However, the statute is extremely rarely enforced.

Why do spouses commit adultery?

Cheating is widespread with about 25% of men and 13% of women admitting to cheating while in relationships  mostly because they were looking for something or someone different. The odds are good that the actual number of cheaters is higher.

The reasons given for cheating in a small survey of five women by Fatherly magazine were:

  • “my husband was like my roommate”
  • “my husband was in deep denial for years… and became emotionally abusive”
  • “my husband became so controlling and jealous”
  • “my husband was pulling away… and dumping all of his problems on me”
  • “my husband got sick [with Alzheimer’s] and became a different person”

In most of the above instances in which the women had affairs, the couple got divorced but in some, counseling saved the marriage.

If you or a loved one is considering getting divorced in Arizona, Cohen Family Law can help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

From our offices in Phoenix, we serve clients in Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale and throughout the state of Arizona in all aspects of family law. It’s all we do. We are committed to providing compassionate and comprehensive legal representation and emotional support as you navigate the transition to a happier phase of life.