The impact of adultery in divorce has been waning over the years, but it is still there. For example, adultery may reduce your share of property during asset division and the alimony you are supposed to receive (if you are the receiving spouse). Here are some of the reasons this may happen:
You Used Marital Resources for the Affair
Every time you are deemed to have misused your marital assets just before the divorce, it will affect the division of property to your spouse's favor. This is the case whether the assets were misused in an extramarital affair or not; it is called asset dissipation in legal circles.
There are many ways in which adultery can contribute to asset dissipation. For example, it can be established that you took your love interest to expensive vacations, bought them expensive gifts or even gifted them actual cash. Whatever the manner of your asset dissipation, the divorce judge may reduce your share of property during asset division and award them to your partner as compensation for the lost assets.
The Adultery Affects the Judge's Determination on Alimony
Adultery doesn't automatically affect alimony determination. In many jurisdictions, however, the judge has the discretion to determine which misconducts can affect alimony determination, and to which extent. In most cases, the more serious a misconduct is, the more it will affect alimony. For example, if you are determined to have engaged in multiple extramarital affairs with many people, the judge may consider it a more serious infraction as compared to a one-time mistake. As such, the multiple affairs may lead the judge to increase the amount you are supposed to pay as alimony or reduce the amount you would have received as alimony depending on the situation.
The Emotional Aspects of the Adultery Affects Divorce Negotiations
Lastly, affecting the judge's decision is not the only way in which adultery can affect alimony or asset division. The issue of adultery can even crop up during divorce negotiations and affect your divorce agreement. For example, you may find yourself too distraught and guilty over your mistake and agree to your spouse's demands without much fight. At the same time, your partner may also use the hurt and anger of the adultery to make the divorce negotiation process intentionally difficult.
Whether you are the one getting accused of adultery or you are accusing your partner of adultery, you need to know its ramifications. Discuss the issue of adultery with your divorce lawyer to prepare you for what to expect. Contact a law firm, like The VK Law Firm, for more help.