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Adultery and Divorce

Does Adultery Affect Divorce?

Unhappy coupleHistorically, adultery is one of the most common grounds for divorce and, although it is seldom pursued, it is still technically a crime in some states. Of course, in contemporary society, adultery simply does not have the impact it once had on divorce, despite common misconceptions regarding its effect on property division and child custody. That said, there are some circumstances in which an affair can indirectly impact one’s divorce settlement. Continue reading to find out how.

The Indirect Impact of Infidelity on Divorce

You will not obtain a larger share of marital assets because your spouse was unfaithful during the marriage. However, if your spouse wastefully dissipated marital assets on an extramarital affair, a judge might award you with a larger share of assets to make up for it. You should be careful with pursuing such cases. If your spouse spent only a marginal amount of assets on a lover, it would not be worth your time or money to pursue it in court since a judge would likely not consider it a case of wasteful dissipation. On the other hand, if your spouse spent thousands of dollars on pricey hotel rooms and gifts, it could have an impact on how assets are divided and is worth pursuing in court. Discuss the details of your case with your attorney and make sure you understand the consequences of your actions.

Does Adultery Affect Child Custody?

In rare cases, infidelity can also have an indirect impact on the child custody arrangement. For example, if your spouse conducted the affair while the children were present or introduced the children to a lover, a judge might question your spouse’s fitness as a parent. However, the sheer act of having an affair will not impact the child custody arrangement. It might be one factor the judge examines when determining custody, but it will not be a decisive factor. Ultimately, a judge will still render a decision based on the best interests of your children.

Although infidelity does not pack too much of a legal punch, a spouse who feels betrayed might not be as willing to negotiate a divorce settlement, which can cost both parties on an emotional and a financial level. The longer the divorce process takes, the more legal costs you will incur and the more time it will take for you to move on with your lives.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Family Law Attorney

Family law matters are some of the most sensitive legal issues most of us will ever face. At Casey, Simmons & Bryant, PLLC, our family law attorneys will help you navigate any number of these delicate matters with compassion and sound legal advice. With more than three decades of combined legal experience, you can rely on our team’s ability to effectively assist you.

Discuss the details of your case today and contact us to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys.

G. Michael Casey

Blog Author: Attorney G. Michael Casey

G. Michael Casey obtained his J.D. from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphrey’s School of Law. He was named one of Tennessee’s Top 10 Under 40 family law attorneys in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

Visit his bio to learn more about his accomplishments.

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