If an affair sparked your divorce, you are already familiar with the emotional toll of infidelity. However, you might also wonder if infidelity can impact your life in other ways, such as your custody arrangement or alimony payments. Generally, a judge will not consider adultery when rendering a decision on any of the key issues involved in a divorce. That said, in some cases, it is possible for an affair to have an indirect impact on the outcome of a divorce.
Exceptions to the Rule
As stated above, adultery does not pack much of a punch in a divorce. Now that every state offers no-fault divorce, affairs play little to no role in the process. There are some exceptions to the rule, however. If your spouse wasted marital assets on a lover, a judge might award you a greater share of assets to make up for the loss. If your spouse took a lover out to dinner or the movies on a handful of occasions, it is highly unlikely a judge will consider this wasteful dissipation and pursuing it would be a waste of your time and resources. If your spouse spent large sums of money on expensive hotel rooms or lavish gifts, on the other hand, a judge would likely view this as wasteful dissipation. The affair itself is not the issue, but rather the fact that your spouse used marital assets to support an affair.
In most cases, adultery does not have an impact on child custody matters. When rendering such decisions, a judge will base his or her ruling on the best interests of the children. Therefore, unless your spouse’s affair directly jeopardized the safety or wellbeing of your children, a judge will not factor it into your custody or visitation schedule. For example, if your spouse conducted the affair while your children were around or exposed them to a lover who has a criminal history, it would likely affect the child custody order. However, this is relatively uncommon.
Lastly, even if your spouse’s affair does not impact the outcome of your divorce settlement, it will undoubtedly sour negotiations and affect your ability to reach an agreement regarding the key mentioned in this blog. Under these circumstances, it is particularly crucial to hire an experienced divorce attorney to guide you throughout the process.
Discuss Your Divorce Case with one of our Legal Professionals Today!
At Nichols Dixon PLLC, our divorce attorneys understand how easy it can be to make an impulsive, emotionally-based decision during this process, especially after finding out your spouse had an affair. Our legal team will help you protect your interests and assets, so you can have the best possible fresh start on this new chapter in your life as you move forward and put the past behind you. Whether your case goes to trial or you settle out of court, you can rely on us to ensure you achieve your goals.
Get started on your case and contact our law office at (405) 294-1511 to set up an initial consultation with one of our family law attorneys.