My husband cheated on me, how will that affect our divorce? 29 Answers as of July 05, 2011

After telling him I want a divorce, my husband then told me he has been cheating on me all along. Is it to my advantage to file a divorce petition using grounds of adultery?

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Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
Only if you can prove the adultery by independent evidence, which is not likely since you apparently didn't know before he told you. It is best to divorce him using any grounds you wish and getaway from him. Hire an attorney who is local to you and go for it.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/5/2011
ROWE LAW FIRM
ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
Adultery may affect your divorce in a variety of ways, and you should consult an attorney about your specific situation. In Louisiana an adultery divorce may be granted more quickly than other kinds of divorce, provided that you can actually prove that adultery occurred. Simple confession by your spouse is insufficient to prove adultery. You will need corroborating circumstances sufficient to disprove any other theory. It is easier to prove adultery if it is confessed, however, because the judge has discretion to approve evidence of corroborating circumstances to his or her satisfaction. It may not always be in your best interest to file for a divorce based on adultery, especially if you may be the recipient of spousal support. In Louisiana you may be entitled to temporary or "interim" spousal support for up to six months after the actual divorce is granted. In that case, proving up adultery may only shorten the window for your receipt of temporary support. Adultery can, but does not necessarily, affect a custody or visitation award, depending on the circumstances. Circumstances that tend to show poor judgment surrounding the care and custody of children, or that an adult's actions may lead to harm to the children, will be relevant. Whether or not you file for a divorce based on adultery is complicated, and depends on your actual facts and circumstances.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 7/1/2011
Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
Since Florida is a no-fault state, the fact that he cheated is not really an issue for the divorce. It could be a factor in determining custody of children or alimony, however.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/1/2011
Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
Washington is a no fault State. Typically, infidelity is irrelevant (may be relevant in a custody case).
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/1/2011
Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C.
Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C. | Fredric Harlan Aaron
In general, the "fault" in a divorce does not affect the distribution of marital assets (called equitable distribution in New York). The exceptions include wasteful dissipation of marital assets. If you can show that your husband has been using marital assets to pay for his girlfriends (such as buying them expensive gifts from money that belongs to the marriage), you can use this to get a larger share of assets in the divorce. I suggest you contact an experienced matrimonial attorney to assist you with your case.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/29/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law no grounds for divorce is needed. This is a no fault state, so the reasons for the divorce do not matter.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Horizons Law Group, LLC
    Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
    It depends what state you are in. Many states are 'no fault' which means it doesn't matter what the reason is. Some do have fault reasons for filing.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    Adultery is one of the grounds for divorce in Illinois, although not used often. I would accompany it with another grounds since you only have his word that he cheated and no other proof, just in case he says that he never made that statement.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    Your husband's cheating on you during the marriage will not affect your divorce in California; it is not an issue that the Court would allow to be addressed. California has no-fault divorce. The appropriate ground for you to use to seek dissolution of your marriage is "irreconcilable differences". The Petition for Dissolution of Marriage has no checkbox for Adultery, which hasn't been grounds for divorce in California for decades.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Law Office of Daniel B. Rubanowitz, APC
    Law Office of Daniel B. Rubanowitz, APC | Daniel B. Rubanowitz
    California is a "no-fault" state, meaning adultery is not grounds for divorce/dissolution of marriage. Rather, in California, the only grounds for dissolution of marriage are irreconcilable differences, which has caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage, or incurable insanity. Although incurable insanity sounds like good grounds to most people when they want to dissolve their marriage, it is generally much more difficult and expensive to prove. The fact that your husband says he has "been cheating" will probably have no impact on your divorce unless he has inappropriately exposed minor children to the "affair" which may bring into question his ability to parent and parenting skills. You should consult with an attorney to determine what is best for you and your family.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Cheating is irrelevant to any legal issues in Colorado and in most other states. Clearly, however, it may have a major impact on the emotional reaction to resolving issues and frequently makes simple issues far more complicated than they need to be.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    In Connecticut, fault will only have a small impact on property settlements and under rare circumstances, custody/visitation. It cannot hurt to list fault but there is not that much benefit you can get out of it.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    Oregon is a no-fault divorce state. His adultery is irrelevant and inadmissible unless he's been spending lots of money on the other woman.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    In Washington state (where I am), the answer is that whether your spouse cheated will make little or no difference. Washington is a no fault state. The only grounds you need to get divorced is that you have to be willing to swear that the marriage is irretrievably broken. In fact, there is no longer any place to even list "grounds" for divorce in the state of Washington.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Willick Law Group
    Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
    Technically, adultery is irrelevant to grounds for divorce in Nevada, which is a "no fault" state. That said, there are a host of issues that might be involved, from economic waste to transmission of illnesses. You really should consult with qualified counsel as quickly as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    The Coyle Law Office
    The Coyle Law Office | T. Andrew Coyle
    It depends on what state you reside in, but it is often a good idea to state the grounds for dissolution (instead of just saying irreconcilable differences) in your petition. In your case, you don't have to get into specifics other than saying that your spouse has committed adultery during the marriage.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Pontrello Law
    Pontrello Law | William Pontrello
    No fault her in Florida. unless he spent substantial marital fund on his paramour.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    Florida is a no fault state, which means the only grounds necessary for divorce are that one or both people want a divorce because the marriage is "broken". Adultery will only effect a divorce if he squandered marital assets on the other person (such as buying them expensive jewelry and gifts, paying for an apartment, giving them money, etc.). If this has happened, then you may be entitled to an unequal division of assets.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    In Washington fault does not matter unless it effects parenting or involved waste of assets.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    It is important for you to retain a divorce attorney and discuss all your rights and options, along with all the ways in which adultery, if proven, can impact a divorce. For instance, in Georgia, if adultery caused the separation and divorce, then it can be a bar against alimony, and it can impact a property division. Again, discuss all this with your own divorce lawyer!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    That is one of several factors a court weighs when determining alimony & property awards; you do not have to base your complaint on that.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Bagwell Holt Smith Jones & Crowson, P.A.
    Bagwell Holt Smith Jones & Crowson, P.A. | John G. Miskey IV
    This is not the case in North Carolina.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Whether alleging adultery will help you depends upon many factors including state law, size of the marital estate and the amount your husband spent on the other women. Please discuss your concerns with a local domestic relations attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    It will have no impact on a divorce. Under Minnesota law, no fault is necessary to seek a divorce and issues such as infidelity do not affect the issues in most cases.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C.
    Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C. | Karen A. Clark
    Washington is a no-fault dissolution state. The dissolution petition does not ask for the reasons for the divorce. Instead, it only asks whether the marriage is irretrievably broken.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    If you are in California, where we have a "no fault" divorce state, the fact that your husband cheated on you will have no bearing on the outcome of the case. What this means is that you will not be able to gain any advantage as to custody, support or financial division of assets. However, if you are in another state where there are specific grounds for divorce, such as adultery, you may be able to benefit. You should confer with a lawyer that is a family law expert in your home state.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    California is a no fault state meaning that adultery is not a grounds for dissolution. The only grounds for a dissolution which are required in California are Irreconcilable Differences. A court will not consider adultery as a factor in support or property division. You should take immediate steps however to protect any interests that you have in support or property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    That may or may not be a good idea depending on many details we don't have. It is a strategic decision you and your lawyer need to make together as there are cons as well as pros to using a contested ground.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/28/2011
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