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Bill in Colorado legislature would decriminalize adultery

It's no secret that adultery is the cause of many divorces in Colorado. But once a couple makes the decision to get a divorce, allegations of adultery have no bearing on custody or property determinations. Colorado is a "no-fault" divorce state, meaning that a divorcing spouse does not need to allege any wrongdoing by the other spouse in order to secure a divorce.

Now a Colorado legislator is sponsoring a bill that would repeal the state statute that makes adultery a criminal act. The House Judiciary Committee has voted to approve the bill, a move which sends it to the full House for consideration.

Adultery has been a crime in Colorado since before statehood. The law that is currently on the books provides that criminal charges can be brought not only against the cheating parties but those who rent rooms to them. State Representative Daniel Kagan, who is the sponsor of the decriminalization bill, emphasizes that repealing the law would in no way amount to approval of adultery. Rather, it is a matter of taking the state out of the business of regulating what goes on in citizens' bedrooms.

In divorce cases, accusations of adultery are simply irrelevant. In making child custody determinations and deciding visitation rights, for example, the court looks to the best interests of the child, not any alleged unfaithfulness on the part of a parent. Similarly, property division is based on an equitable division of marital property; whether a spouse was faithful during the marriage does not enter into the equation.

Source: Fox 31, "Bill to decriminalize adultery clears House committee," Eli Stokols, Feb. 21, 2013iv

 

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