Adultery During Divorce

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Adultery is an act of cheating the spouse by having an extra-marital sexual intercourse with an individual who is not a married spouse. Most of the adultery cases in the US are difficult to discover as this is done secretly. A spouse may be involved in adultery during divorce or even before the divorce case has been filed. However, the former case is not given much weightage during settlement of issues concerning the end of marriage, based on certain factors. But, when the partners were happily married and adultery was discovered within marital period, then the judge considers the accused to be at-fault and rules accordingly.

Effects of divorce adultery

After the introduction of no-fault divorce laws, the courts became less interested in the behavior of the spouses regarding adultery. Adultery does not have much impact on the financial aspects of the divorce like distribution of property in most of the states. However, the new relationships of the adulterous parents have some relevancy regarding custody and visitation decisions. The following point must be nailed in the mind by an adulterous parent - this parent should ascertain that his/her children are not involved in the new relationship. The background is that the court is not concerned regarding the morality of the parents, but the emotional harm inflicted to the children concerns the court.

Challenges faced in adultery discovered during divorce

If a spouse has been involved in acts of adultery while the divorce proceeding is going on and it has been discovered by the innocent spouse, then he/she may have to face a lot of challenges as the innocent partner may react in the following ways:

  • Can make the relation more bitter as the other spouse is enjoying
  • Hard to accept a new relation in the life of ex
  • If the divorce case has been filed on no-fault grounds, he/she will longer continue to accept no-fault ground
  • Can make use of the present adultery evidence and produce it in the court as marital adultery proof
  • Can hamper cooperative post-divorce relationship and parenting issues
  • Can alter the grounds for divorce at any point

Challenges will also be faced on the legal side as well. This is because the marriage is considered to be legal until the divorce is finalized. Thus, if adultery is committed during divorce, it may be looked upon as marital misconduct or unfaithfulness. Thus, it may affect in determining the amount of support payments, child custody and visitation to an extent.

Emotional aspects of Adultery during Divorce

The attention that an adulterous parent gets from his/her new partner boosts his/her self-esteem and serves like a breath of fresh air. This attention is a distraction that assists in overcoming the pain caused by the divorce. The adulterous parent gets a feeling that he/she is wanted and needed and consequently, feels good.

However, it must be noted that while a divorce proceedings are in progress, the parent is not emotionally prepared for a new relationship. The parent is yet to handle the various issues of the divorce and feel relaxed that the ordeal is finally over.

After the divorce is complete, the parent feels free from stress and his/her life becomes more stable. Due to the change in circumstances, he/she might react differently to the new partner. So, it is advisable that the parent gives himself/herself some time to find out whether he/she can manage life all by himself/herself without the financial or emotional support of a new partner.

Effect of Adultery during Divorce on Support amounts

It may be noted that if a wife seeking divorce is residing with a boyfriend, while the divorce proceedings are in progress, this may result in a reduction in the amount of spousal support. Let us assume that this wife ultimately gets custody of the children. However, the court considers that she is residing with a person, who is sharing her expenses. Consequently, the amount of child support is decreased.

In a nutshell, one should speculate whether it is to his/her advantage to sacrifice his/her future support amounts due to a relationship that may not continue for the entire life. Thus, the adulterous parent is offering a huge advantage to the innocent parent, by practicing adultery during divorce. Is it not wise to wait till the finalization of the divorce takes place and then, after some time begin a new relationship?

Impact of adultery on children

It can be concluded from sociological and psychological studies that those intimate relationships that begin prior to the conclusion of a divorce last for a brief time period. Let us assume that children have been involved in this brief relationship. Such children form a conclusion that is rather unsafe to create close friendships. This hampers their attitude towards marriage. Thus, due to the bad judgment of the parents, the children experience loneliness, isolation and mistrust.

Finally, it can be concluded that adultery during divorce is not a desirable option for an individual. This may complicate issues in the divorce case and increase conflicts and costs. Once the divorce is finalized, one may be free to move on in life and live a life of his/her own choice. It is always better to consult an experienced attorney to help in issues of divorce adultery.

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