It is an unfortunate reality that many relationships fail because of one or both partners being unfaithful. Adultery is hurtful, and there are few other actions which so often lead to the break down of a marriage so quickly once discovered. If you believe your partner is committing adultery, there are some basic steps you should consider taking.
First, you need to try to understand the role adultery will take in your divorce. If you have children with your partner, the adultery standing alone will not mean that you automatically win custody of the children. Moreover, adultery will not mean that you automatically get a larger portion of the marital assets or a smaller portion of the marital debt. Likewise, adultery is highly unlikely to impact an award of spousal support. However, just because on the face, it seems like adultery is not particularly relevant, there are aspects of the infidelity that are highly relevant.
If you share children with your spouse, you may want to consider trying to discover more about the person with whom your spouse is committing adultery. If the person is not fit to be around children by virtue of a criminal history or substance abuse, for example, the fact that your spouse may be wanting to involve the person in the children’s lives in the future will be highly relevant to a custody or visitation dispute.
For marital assets and marital debts, you will want to look through credit card and bank statements. If your spouse has dissipated marital assets by buying lavish gifts for the paramour or taking him or her on big vacations, this will be relevant in your divorce. The court is highly unlikely to make the blameless spouse divide any portion of debt that is attributable to gifts or vacations purchases for a boyfriend or girlfriend. Even if the spending did not result in debt, the court may apportion the remaining marital assets to account for the amount the adulterous spouse spent on the paramour.
Finally, for spousal support, adultery could potentially be relevant if your spouse is stating that he or she does not have adequate resources to pay spousal support. If your spouse has been taking the paramour on dates, buying gifts, or otherwise spending money on the girlfriend or boyfriend, the court is less likely to believe that your spouse does not have the funds available to contribute to spousal support.We have experience in helping our clients sort through adultery issues. Let us help you with understanding the role of adultery in your divorce. Contact us today at (732) 529-6937 for an appointment.