What impact will adultery have on your divorce proceedings?

Discovering that your spouse has cheated on you is shocking to say the least. Some people convince themselves that they can work on the relationship, while others immediately start planning to exit the marriage. For those who decide that divorce is the only viable solution after uncovering an extramarital affair, there’s often an expectation that the family court will provide justice.

Some people know that there will be consequences because they have a marital agreement with their spouse that imposes penalties for marital misconduct. Others have to depend on the court to give them justice. Will your spouse’s infidelity influence how the courts approach your divorce?

Property division

For the most part, misconduct during a marriage will have minimal impact on how a judge divides your property. The only exception to this rule is when there is evidence of dissipation. If your spouse wasted a large amount of marital income buying presents or paying for hotel rooms to conduct their affair, that can influence what a judge does when dividing your property.

Child custody matters

It is common for people to think that a judge will consider their spouse’s adultery while creating a parenting plan. After all, a willingness to destroy the family unit for personal gratification is often an indicator that a parent won’t put the children first.

However, judges make custody decisions based on what they believe will be best for the children, and that includes keeping both parents involved even if one of them is a cheater. Unless you can show that the affair partner poses some kind of immediate threat to your children’s well-being, a judge won’t consider this new relationship when deciding how to divide your parenting time.

Your future happiness will be the best revenge

Instead of spending your money litigating aggressively for outcomes the courts are unlikely to grant and focusing your mental energy on your failed marriage, thinking about your divorce as a way to set yourself up for the future can be a much healthier approach.

Rather than trying to punish your ex for the past, it is better to focus on protecting yourself and your children as much as possible and preparing for a healthier and happier future now that you know the truth about your marriage. Understanding how different family situations influence divorce outcomes can help you prepare for divorce negotiations or your day in family court.


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