Can my spouse use my cheating in a divorce case? 40 Answers as of July 17, 2013

Over 10 years ago I had an affair. I confessed to my husband and he stated he forgave me. We continued our relationship and had 2 children. We have grown apart and I have discovered that he really has not forgiven me. Can he still bring this up during divorce proceedings and hold it against me thus affecting settlement?

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Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
Infidelity is typically not a factor in divorce proceedings.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/5/2011
Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C.
Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C. | Fredric Harlan Aaron
Your husband can try to use your affair against you by claiming adultery and seeking a larger share of marital assets in equitable distribution. However, based on the fact that the affair occurred over 10 years ago and that he "accepted" it by forgiving you and continuing in the marital relationship, it is doubtful that the court will use this in deciding the issues in the divorce (equitable distribution, child custody, child support, maintenance). You should consult an experienced matrimonial attorney to assist you with your divorce.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/31/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
No - it is irrelevant.California has a "no-fault" divorce law. The Court won't hear evidence about your affair, and it shouldn't affect settlement.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/26/2013
Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
The fact that you cheated on your husband ten years ago (or last week) will have no bearing on what happens in your divorce. There is no "punishment" for cheating in the divorce laws of California.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/28/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
He can bring it up but it probably won't amount to anything given the lapse of time and that it was a one time thing and not repeated since.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 7/26/2011
    Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law
    Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law | Neville J. Bedford
    If you are in Rhode Island, adultery is considered a "fault based" ground for divorce. The matters are usually more conflicted and take longer to process and in the end there is usually a slight offset in the equitable division. The party alleging fault must have "clean hands" meaning they cannot be guilty of any other behavior that would give rise to a fault based counterclaim. These cases take the most time and enrich the legal profession. Usually by the time things have come to a point where the parties wish to divorce and do not want to spend years in the court, they proceed on no-fault grounds called "irreconcilable differences" If you are lucky able to negotiate a settlement either directly or with the assistance of a mediator, this will save tremendous amounts of court time.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    Since you had the affair over 10 years ago and obviously you and your husband continued in the marital relationship (ie had sex) then he has condoned the affair and legally it can not be used against you. However, if there is an affair which he does not have knowledge and then finds out it can be used against you and would effect the settlement.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Michael Edwards, Attorney at Law
    Michael Edwards, Attorney at Law | Michael Edwards
    I think your husband can bring this up in the divorce, but I don't think it will make much, if any, difference. Our law and our judges don't typically give much weight to an affair, when they are deciding divorce cases. I think this is particularly true where, as in your case, the misconduct was long ago, you reconciled afterward, and moved forward with life. Thus, it is difficult for your husband to prove that your affair is truly the cause of your divorce. My guess is that your divorce case will be resolved as most others are, and your past affair will not make a difference, unless you agree to let it make a difference in your settlement discussions. I wish you the best!
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    Arizona is a "no fault" divorce state. This means that the reasons for the divorce are not, in and of themselves, relevant. There are extremely limited circumstances under which infidelity could be raised in a divorce (e.g. if you "wasted" community property assets on the other relationship), but generally, an affair is more of an emotional consideration (not legally relevant) than a legal one.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    I really cannot think of any way that an affair from 10 years ago could be used against you in a Washington state divorce. Washington is a no fault state.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    It's not admissible in court.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/26/2013
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    Florida is a no fault divorce state so while it may bother you, it is not really relevant to obtaining a settlement in a divorce
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Correia-Champa & Mailhot
    Correia-Champa & Mailhot | Susan Correia Champa
    Yes, he can bring it up, however, unless your affair depleted your finances in anyway, it should not affect the settlement. For example, if you took $20,000.00 and took a cruise with person you had an affair with, then you would be required to put that $20,000.00 back into the marriage. Absent some significant financial depletion, it should not affect your settlement. Without more information that is all I can comment on.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Adultery is not a ground for divorce in Georgia unless it causes a separation. Once it is condoned/forgiven, it cannot be a ground later.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Horizons Law Group, LLC
    Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
    He may bring it up, but Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state, which means it will not affect property division or other items.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    Yes, he can bring it up, but it is 10 years ago and not relevant at this time.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    Your husband can try to bring this issue up, but based on what you have stated it is unlikely to have any substantial effect on the division of marital assets. The fact that your husband "forgave" you and the marriage lasted another 10 years will definitely play to your favor. The type of affairs that affect property division the most are those that tend to be long-term and where the cheating spouse spends significant amounts of money on the paramour.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Minnesota is a no fault state, as a result, infidelity or other reasons are not necessary to file =or complete a divorce. Infidelity would only play a role if it was somehow relevant to a particular issue. If the infidelity affected the children, it may be relevant. However, an affair over ten years past is unlikely to have any effect.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Willick Law Group
    Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
    Anyone can think, or pretty much say, what they wish, but on the facts you describe, it is entirely irrelevant to either grounds or outcome on any issue.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/17/2013
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Adultery is an acceptable reason for divorce in Ohio. But a ten year old affair would have little impact upon most divorce settlements. Please see a domestic relatoins attorney for the whole story.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    The Coyle Law Office
    The Coyle Law Office | T. Andrew Coyle
    A divorce does not affect property settlement or child custody issues - it only gives one party the right to seek a divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
    Florida is a no-fault state, so the cheating is not a factor in the divorce itself being granted. He could potentially use it to try to get custody of the children, as it could be seen as a lack of moral fitness on your part. The fact that it was so long ago would be a mitigating factor in that regard.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    No Wisconsin is a not fault divorce state. He can't use this against you unless it directly effects the children.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Elmbrook Law Offices
    Elmbrook Law Offices | Gregory Straub
    Wisconsin is a no fault divorce state. Evidence of a previous relationship outside the marriage may cause some issues between you and your former spouse but it will not be an issue before the Court.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Probably not. Cheating is irrelevant in Washington unless it effects the childrenorconsitutes a waste of assets. I wouldn't worry about it. No doubt there are 20 things more important in your dissolution.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    No, California is a no fault state. What that means is that cheating in a marriage is not relevant to any matter which is decided in a divorce proceeding. The courts are not interested in hearing why you are getting divorced. They only wish to hear about topics which specifically pertain to issues concerning custody, visitation, support and property division.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We recommend that you retain a divorce attorney to discuss all your rights and options. You can also ask your divorce attorney about condonation, and how, in Georgia, if condonation, or forgiveness of the adultery has occurred, then, generally, it cannot be used as a fault ground. Again, see a divorce lawyer ASAP! Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    An affair can occasionally impact child custody or alimony, but only in certain circumstances. Something that happened 10 years ago would be irrelevant.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Infidelity is totally irrelevant to divorce in Colorado, regardless of when it occurred. Any specific facts surrounding an affair that might suggest some potential harm to children MIGHT have some limited relevance in disputed issues concerning parenting responsibilities (e.g. an ongoing affair with a convicted child molester), but generally affairs only indicate the degree of anger & emotion that might otherwise prevent an amicable settlement of the issues that need to be resolved.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    He can try but the judge has the ability to give it whatever weight the judge thinks it deserves and from your facts it does not appear that that would be much.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    California is a "no fault" divorce jurisdiction. This means the court will not entertain any claims of infidelity since division of property is based on an equal split of any of the assets and liabilities acquired with earnings during the mariage.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Law Office of Daniel B. Rubanowitz, APC
    Law Office of Daniel B. Rubanowitz, APC | Daniel B. Rubanowitz
    California is a "No-Fault" State and the fact that you may have had an "indiscretion" several years ago, prior to the birth of your children, has no real bearing on your divorce case. It would not be appropriate for the issue to be brought up in Court unless there are other facts of which I am unaware. You or your attorney should write a letter to the other side and urge them to keep the issue out of the divorce case and to not expose the children to such an adult matter. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    An old affair should not affect anything in the financial settlement of your divorce. I can explain all of this to you, and give you some guidance in what the law says, and how it will affect your situation and your children.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Law Office of Jennifer L. Marshall, LLC.
    Law Office of Jennifer L. Marshall, LLC. | Jennifer L. Marshall, Esq.
    New Jersey is a no-fault state, which means things like adultery do not matter anymore. Your affair does not mean you are not entitled to your share of equitable distribution. Just make sure you have the right attorney, who can protect your interest.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    In California, an affair is irrelevant to the divorce process. California is a "no-fault" state. Meaning, that it only takes one party to file for divorce due to "irreconcilable difference." Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    It would be very difficult. Florida is a no fault state. Affairs can be taken into consideration in alimony cases, but based on the age of this indiscretion, the amount of weight the affair will be given may be limited.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    It is unlikely that it would be a significant issue, since it was 10 years ago, he knew about it and forgave you, and you continued your lives together and had children.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/25/2011
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