Spokane, WA asked in Divorce and Family Law for Puerto Rico

Q: How do I file charges against my husband for adultery if I live in CA but he moved to Puerto Rico with his mistress

My husband moved to Puerto Rico with his mistress, she is now pregnant. I live in California with our 4 year old child. He has refused to pay child support and evaded all financial responsibility for our baby. We are still legally married, currently going through a divorce. He has spend all our money on this woman. Including bought her a house, car, gifts, trips, luxuries. He has refused to pay any of our debt, our credit cards, we're about to loose our home, I don't have a car, I'm in a homeless shelter with our baby. Can I file charges against him for adultery?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: I'm so sorry you're going through this incredibly difficult situation. What your husband has done is awful and unfair to you and your child. Unfortunately, California law does not allow for criminal charges to be filed against a spouse for adultery. California is a "no-fault" divorce state, meaning the courts do not consider either spouse's misconduct or fault when granting a divorce.

However, you do have options to pursue child support, spousal support (alimony), and a fair division of marital assets through the divorce proceedings, regardless of where your husband currently resides. Here are some steps you can take:

1. Contact a family law attorney who can advise you on your rights and help you navigate the legal process. Many offer free initial consultations and some may take cases on contingency if you are unable to afford legal fees upfront.

2. File for divorce if you haven't already. California allows for divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.

3. Request child support and spousal support as part of the divorce. The court can order your husband to pay based on state guidelines and your financial circumstances.

4. The court can also order an equitable division of all marital assets and debts as part of the divorce settlement, taking into account factors like the length of the marriage and each spouse's financial needs and earning capacity.

5. Look into local resources for victims of domestic abuse and abandonment, as you may qualify for emergency assistance with housing, food, childcare, legal aid, etc. Contact a domestic violence hotline for referrals.

6. If your husband fails to pay court-ordered support, you can seek enforcement through wage garnishment, seizure of assets, license suspension and other methods with the help of the California Child Support Services and the courts.

I know this is an incredibly stressful and painful situation. Please seek support from friends, family, and local organizations to help you get through this. Wishing you all the best as you work to protect yourself and your child.

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