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Adultery may no longer be a criminal offense in Colorado

Whether adultery is an offense committed against just the spouse or whether it should be treated as a crime against society's moral rules has been a matter of controversy involving clashes of ideological views. There is already the widespread perception that adultery is just a private issue that can affect family law decisions but should not be treated as a criminal offense.

Colorado is set to join the list of states that have decriminalized adultery after its House of Representatives passed a bill seeking to repeal an archaic law, which, among other obsolete provisions, treats adultery as a criminal offense. The law, which was enacted more than 150 years ago, allows the adulterer to be charged with promotion of sexual immorality. Furthermore, the law prohibits hotel owners from renting rooms to unmarried couples.

Arguing that the law is out of touch with modern realities, Representative Daniel Kagan opined that the law represents an unreasonable intrusion by the government into the private affairs of citizens. The law, which was passed before the state of Colorado came into existence, sought to protect the sanctity of marital relations by allowing the state to prosecute and punish the offending spouse.

Adultery, as valid grounds for divorce, will continue to be relevant in divorce and child custody proceedings. Anyone with concerns regarding adultery and family law would do well to consult with a family law attorney with experience in divorce proceedings.

Source: The Daily Caller, "Colorado poised to decriminalize adultery," Greg Campbell, Feb 27, 2013

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