Does Cheating Matter during Divorce?

Does Cheating Matter during Divorce?

A marriage can end when a spouse discovers that one’s partner has an adulterous relationship. While it does matter among the parties involved, a lot of couples are wondering whether cheating does matter to the courts.

Legally, the impact of an extra-marital affair varies from one state to another. In some states, cheating has a substantial impact on the outcome of the divorce. And there are also some states in which it has very little influence on the court ruling. There are even some states in which adultery remains a crime, but it is rarely prosecuted.

On Assets Distribution

At present, cheating rarely has an impact on how the assets are distributed. It will only matter when one party used marital assets in order to support the extra-marital affair. For instance, if a husband uses a marital asset to support a mistress, then it will be taken into account when assets of the marriage are distributed.

On Custody Determination

Cheating doesn’t affect a custody determination as well, as long as the cheating spouse didn’t carry out the relationship in front of the kids, or exposed the children to inappropriate situations or people.

Alimony and Settlement

In states where fault is still a factor in a divorce, cheating can reduce the obligation of a spouse to pay alimony to an unfaithful partner. If alimony is already in place, it will be terminated once a spouse lives with another person.

Cheating can also affect the settlement during a divorce. More often than not, divorce cases are settled. The cheating spouse will feel guilty after the discovery of the affair, and the other party will feel retributive and angry. These feelings and emotions will greatly affect the terms of the settlement. The cheating spouse might agree to the terms of the settlement in order to appease the soon-to-be former partner.

Is Reconciliation Possible after Cheating?

When it comes to divorce, it is important that both parties have a calm state of mind. Divorce should be the last resort, even after the discovery of the extra-marital relationship. A lot of marriages have been saved and couples reconciled after they seek professional help.

It is important to keep the lines of communication open and maintain a sense of civility when talking to one’s spouse, whether it is for the best interest of the family or for the sake of the children. A counselor can guide the couple through their decision towards reconciliation, and help avoid previous mistakes.

Cheating is bad, but that doesn’t mean that the marriage needs to end because of it. Through counseling, couples can work out their issues, and have stronger relationships through the help of a professional. It is important to keep options open, and not to close doors on a cheating partner.


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