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dads divorce lawyer infidelityThere are many reasons couples get divorced, and infidelity is high on the list. When one spouse has an extramarital affair, the other spouse may feel betrayed, and this could lead them to attempt to get revenge either before ending the marriage or during divorce proceedings. The strong emotions that these situations can evoke will often lead to increased levels of conflict between spouses, making it difficult to reach agreements during the divorce process. If infidelity is a factor in your divorce, you’ll want to be sure to understand your rights and determine how it may affect the decisions made in your case.

Filing for Divorce

Whether you plan to begin the process of ending your marriage by filing a petition for divorce or need to respond to your spouse’s divorce petition, you’ll want to determine whether infidelity should be addressed at this stage. While some states may allow spouses to cite fault-based grounds for divorce, such as adultery, most states allow for no-fault divorce. In these cases, a divorce petition will simply state that the marriage has broken down due to irreconcilable differences. While listing infidelity as a grounds for divorce may be possible in your state, it may be best to avoid laying the blame for your divorce in the initial filing or response, since this may help you avoid conflict later in the divorce process.

Addressing Infidelity During Divorce Proceedings

In many cases, an extramarital affair won’t play a direct role in the decisions made during a divorce. Typically, issues such as the division of marital property will be based on what is fair and equitable for both parties, and “marital misconduct” will not be a factor that is considered. However, some states do allow adultery or other forms of misconduct to be considered when making decisions about whether to award spousal support. An affair may affect the property division process if a spouse is accused of dissipating assets, or using marital funds or property for non-marital purposes.

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