Cheating on your spouse can have a lot of personal ramifications and it might have even been the reason behind your divorce, but in today’s modern society, infidelity does not have quite as powerful an impact on one’s divorce settlement as it used to. Now that spouses can divorce over “irreconcilable differences,” adultery packs a less potent punch. That said, there are some circumstances in which cheating on your spouse can affect the outcome of your divorce settlement.
The Role of Wasteful Dissipation in a Divorce
Having an affair will generally not have a direct impact on your divorce settlement, but it can have some indirect consequences if you wasteful dissipated assets. For example, if you bought expensive gifts for your lover or spent vast sums of marital funds on hotel rooms, your spouse could accuse you of wastefully dissipating assets. To ensure your spouse receives his or her fair share of marital assets, a judge would penalize you by giving you a smaller share of marital assets.
If you only spent marginal amounts of marital funds on your lover, it is unlikely a wasteful dissipation claim will be successful in court. For example, if you took your lover out to the movies or bought him or her lunch a few times, it would not be considered wasteful dissipation. If you believe your spouse wastefully dissipated assets, make sure the sum involved is substantial or you will end up going through a lot more trouble and spend more on legal services than is necessary.
Other Effects Infidelity Can Have on a Divorce
It is also unlikely infidelity will impact issues relating to child custody or child support. Unless the children were exposed to the affair or the lover has a criminal background and was allowed to be around the children, custody will be determined by examining which arrangement serves the best interests of the children.
Another way in which infidelity can impact your divorce settlement is by creating a more hostile environment between you and your spouse, resulting in a more difficult and prolonged process. If your spouse does not trust you, he or she will likely fight you on every issue, which can increase your legal fees.
In the end, although infidelity can create a lot of tension, anger, and resentment during the divorce process, its impact on a divorce settlement is usually non-existent.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney Today!
If you are getting a divorce, contact the knowledgeable and compassionate family law team at Mitchell & West LLC today for the exceptional legal advice and representation you deserve. With over 100 years of experience on our side and a reputation for success, you can rely on our team for client-focused services and personalized strategies to help you achieve your goals. No matter how complex your divorce might be, we can help get you through it.
Contact Mitchell & West LLC today at (305) 783-3301 to schedule a confidential case review with one of our trusted divorce attorneys to know more about your legal options and rights.