How Infidelity Will Impact the Outcome of Your Divorce Case
Nov 09, 2020 09:00 PM EST
Unfortunately, divorce has become a normal part of the marriage cycle in countries all over the world. It's sad when a family unit gets broken apart after investing years trying to put it together.
As for the divorce process, it can go one of two ways. First, it can be an amicable separation of the family where the assets and kids are divided equally and everyone goes their own way without looking back.
Second, it can be an emotionally-turbulent and devastating life event that brings about resentment and anger from both parties. This is usually the case when infidelity is the primary reason for the divorce. Under these circumstances, spouses become unwilling to cooperate, turning everything about the process into a battle.
As for the infidelity portion of the divorce equation, you might be surprised to find out just how irrelevant it can be. For decades, people have always assumed the injured party would get favorable treatment from the legal system. That's not always true.
For further information, please keep reading. If you have additional questions, contact an experienced attorney in your area. It's pretty easy these days -- simply type a query like "divorce attorneys in the Salt Lake area' into Google, and you'll have a list of lawyers and trustworthy reviews in a matter of seconds.
Does Infidelity Matter During Divorce Proceedings?
Any discussion on this subject matter has to take into account that laws vary from one state to the next. In some states, infidelity is still a crime. Conversely, most states now view cheating as a regular occurrence within the marital relationship. While sad, that's the reality of life in the 21st century.
In states where divorce is a relevant issue, judges do take said circumstances under consideration when making rulings. When an amicable settlement is near impossible, the cheating spouse could have exposure to an unfavorable outcome.
For your edification, here are a few of the ways infidelity/cheating could impact the divorce settlement process:
● Division of assets might favor the injured party
● Child custody might favor the injured party
● Personal injury penalties might be levied in certain circumstances (transmission of STD, etc.)
The two things you don't see on this list are alimony and child support. Unless the circumstances are compelling, it's very unlikely a judge will allow the infidelity charge to affect what the breadwinner has to pay for alimony and child support. Some parts of the divorce settlement process are strictly financial matters. The judge will typically leave family issues out of the settlement equation.
Again, infidelity is usually irrelevant without extenuating circumstances. Your responsibility is to discuss said information with your attorney and allow them to decide how relevant the topic is to your proceedings.
What Factors Can Impact the Divorce Settlement Process
Divorce can be a very complicated process. For that reason, you need to take good care when selecting an attorney. It's always best to find one who specializes in divorce proceedings.
At this point, you should now have a basic idea regarding how infidelity will play in your divorce case. While cheating might not be relevant, there are factors that could matter a great deal.
Evidence of physical abuse
When there is evidence of domestic violence or child abuse, the judge has a responsibility to take that into account. It could very well lead to the issuing of restraining orders and the abuser getting no access to the children without proof of psychiatric care. It would most likely prompt the judge to rule strongly in favor of the victim regarding asset division, child support, and alimony.
The moral character of either party might also impact a judge's decisions. For instance, the commission of a crime might impact a child custody ruling. If one party is in jail or going to jail, the judge could rule heavily in favor of the noncriminal party.
If an addiction problem exists, the judge might decide to delay certain rulings until the addict has had time to get help. Sometimes, the judge might decide to suspend the proceedings altogether until the addict has the adequate capacity to defend themselves.
As you can see, it's not always easy to take a family unit apart. While the legal system attempts to always make things fair and equitable, circumstances can impact the entire divorce process.