[author: Joshua Boyle]
Bobby Petrino had it all. He had a wife and 4 kids. He had an excellent record as the head coach of the University of Arkansas Razorbacks college football team, who many believed would be a title contender in 2012. He had a salary of $3.5 million a year. However, despite all of that, he also decided he wanted to have “inappropriate relations” with a 25 year old woman, whom he even hired onto his staff.
Now, as more and more details have emerged about Coach Petrino’s attempts to cover up his relations with the 25 year old woman, he has been fired by the University of Arkansas. Nothing has been said about how his wife is handling this and doubtless she is devastated. Perhaps, with the help of a counselor, Coach Petrino can save his marriage. If not, a very bitter divorce may ensue.
As a divorce attorney is Mesa, AZ I have handled numerous cases that have similarities to Coach Petrino’s story. Arizona is a no fault divorce state, which means that the court is not to consider an affair, or “inappropriate relations” as Coach Petrino describes it, in making its final determination. However, that does not mean that having an affair will not dramatically affect the outcome of a case. If one spouse has spent money on a boyfriend or girlfriend, this is considered marital waste, and the offending spouse will have to reimburse half of the money to the other spouse. If the boyfriend or girlfriend has a criminal history or poses a danger to the children, the court may consider this in awarding custody and parenting time.
Dishonesty by one spouse can also play a major role in a case. Coach Petrino was dishonest about the accident and his involvement with his girlfriend. Arizona is a community property state, and other than a few exceptions, all property and debts acquired during the marriage are to be divided in half. However, if the judge does not believe one of the parties is being honest, it can side with the other spouse regarding anything that does not add up with property or debts.
Although it may seem that Coach Petrino’s wife would have an advantage in court due to his behavior, also consider that he no longer has his $3.5 million job. This may have a huge impact on alimony awarded to his wife.
In short, there are no winners in this. The real lesson to be learned is be honest, don’t cheat on your spouse, and if you have it all, don’t look for more.
If you have any questions concerning divorce law in Arizona please call me at (480) 833-1113.