Infidelity is one of the reasons why people file for divorce. Hence, if you suspect your partner is unfaithful, you can decide whether to forgive them or dissolve the marriage. In most cases, many choose to dissolve the marriage because they lose trust in their spouse and cannot predict how the person will behave later. Further, the loss of trust also affects the divorce proceedings because you cannot hope that someone having an affair will have your best interest at heart. As such, you should talk to your family lawyer about the cheating allegations and get their guidance on divorce proceedings. Here's more below.
Some states have stricter laws on adultery than others. For example, some have a family code that defines adultery as the engagement in sexual intercourse with somebody that is not your spouse. The definition means that any other flirtatious behavior might not be considered adultery by the family law courts. For example, you might have evidence that your spouse is having explicit phone conversations with potential sexual partners. However, if they did not have sex with the person, you cannot file the petition under the grounds of adultery.
It's important also to note that some states don't recognize legal separation, which means that if your partner cheats when you are separated, it could still be considered adultery. Whatever the case, having a lawyer is an easy way to determine whether your partner's conduct falls within the legal definition of adultery.
The Consequences of Adultery
The consequences of adultery depend on the circumstances surrounding it and vary between states. In most states, you don't have to prove what your partner did wrong to get a divorce. But if you come from a community state, factors like adultery might affect how you will share marital property after the divorce. Therefore, you should let your family lawyer know the details of the infidelity if you feel it might affect how you share property and other agreements.
What Adultery Doesn't Affect
You should know the things adultery will not affect in case of a divorce. For example, infidelity does not affect how much spousal support your partner will owe you. Moreover, the court cannot deny you custody because you engaged in adultery. As such, discussing this with your lawyer will help you manage expectations.
It is helpful to start divorce proceedings with the guidance of a family law attorney. Whether your spouse cheated or not, the lawyer will ensure you get a settlement that serves your best interests.