How Can Infidelity Affect a Divorce?

 Posted on November 20, 2023 in Divorce Issues

Untitled---2023-11-20T113315.946.jpgGetting a divorce is rarely an easy process, especially for dads who need to address child custody issues. However, infidelity can make matters even more complicated, and it can lead to disputes that may be difficult to resolve. When one spouse has engaged in a sexual or emotional relationship with someone outside of the marriage, this is likely to be one of the top reasons why the marriage is ending. Infidelity can not only lead to significant emotional pain, feelings of betrayal, and contentious arguments, but it may also affect divorce proceedings. In these situations, it is important to understand the legal implications that infidelity may have for dads who are going through divorce.

When Infidelity May Be Addressed During the Divorce Process

Infidelity is an emotional issue that can be very important to spouses who are going through a divorce. However, it may not necessarily be addressed during legal divorce proceedings. Even though it can be difficult to set aside emotions when approaching this issue, doing so may be necessary to ensure that a divorce can be completed successfully. A spouse’s adultery or cheating behavior could potentially affect a divorce in the following ways:

  • Grounds for divorce: When filing for divorce, a spouse will state the reasons they are seeking to end their marriage, which are known as the grounds for divorce. Some states recognize fault-based grounds for divorce, including adultery. However, most states also allow for “no-fault divorce” in which a divorce petition will state that the marriage is ending because of irreconcilable differences. To help minimize conflict during the divorce process, it may be preferable to file for a no-fault divorce rather than placing the blame for the end of the marriage on the spouse who cheated.

  • Distribution of assets and debts: When making decisions about the division of marital property, infidelity may sometimes be taken into consideration if it affected a couple’s financial situation. In some cases, a spouse may dissipate marital assets by using money or property for their sole benefit. Asset dissipation can occur during an affair when a spouse spends money on items such as hotel rooms or gifts. In these situations, a spouse who dissipated assets may receive a smaller share of marital property. However, if there was no asset dissipation, marital property will typically be divided fairly and equitably, and “marital misconduct” such as infidelity will not play a role in these decisions.

  • Spousal support/alimony: One spouse may request ongoing financial support from the other spouse to address disparities in income and ensure that they can maintain their standard of living. Depending on state laws, marital misconduct may or may not be considered when determining whether spousal support will be awarded.

  • Child custody: Infidelity generally does not play a significant role in determining how parents will share child custody unless a parent’s behavior has directly affected the well-being of their children. Family courts prioritize the best interests of the child when making custody decisions, focusing on factors such as stability, parenting abilities, and emotional support available from each parent. However, if a parent has neglected parental responsibilities or family duties in favor of pursuing affairs or establishing a relationship with a new partner, these behaviors may be considered when determining how child custody will be divided.

Get Legal Help From a Skilled Divorce Lawyer

While infidelity may not always play a role in the decisions made during a divorce, it is important to address these concerns correctly with the help of a skilled legal advocate. Whether you have engaged in infidelity that has led to the end of your marriage or want to know how your spouse’s infidelity may affect your divorce, you can consult with an experienced divorce attorney to make sure all legal issues will be addressed correctly during your case. Your lawyer can provide advice on how to proceed during the divorce process, and they can represent you during legal proceedings to help you resolve issues related to child custody, property division, spousal support, and more.

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