Does an Affair or Adultery Impact a Divorce?

Couple discussing marital affair

You might be concerned that an affair or adultery will impact your divorce. Marital misconduct is not taken into consideration when dividing up property in Illinois or deciding a child custody arrangement, at least not formally. For the person who has been scorned, the desire for revenge can make the divorce and negotiations more difficult. While legally there is little that can be done when it comes to marital misconduct, it often leads to a complicated divorce.

Dividing Marital Assets Complications

Figuring out how to divide up marital assets is difficult when one party is set on getting back at the other. Assets can be hidden, or finances lied about in an effort to get more out of the marriage than what is reasonably provided under the law. The attorney representing the scorned party will need to take a hard look at the reality of the situation and discuss the emotional impact of the affair with the party. The individual may become unreasonable, asking for more assets or support because of their feelings of betrayal.

The person accused of adultery might have been spending money out of a joint bank account on the affair. This can make the other party extremely upset, and negotiations will have to occur. The attorney representing the adulterer should take into consideration the emotional damage caused and look for ways to work through the divorce fairly.

Child Custody Complications

A person who cheats on their spouse may discover that they suddenly have an order of protection placed on them by the other party without notice even if the order does not have merit. The order of protection can include children, and parenting time issues quickly become a problem for the adulterer. It is important to prove that the order of protection is nothing more than revenge. If the restraining order stands, this can complicate matters for parenting time and decision making for the children. While cheating on a spouse will cause emotions to run high, this is no reason to use the children as weapons against the other party.

In conclusion, an affair or adultery does impact a divorce because it adds a layer of anger and emotional distress into the negotiations over money and child issues.  A collaborative divorce can help reduce the stress involved with trying to work out child custody and money issues. Individual therapy or divorce coaches can help both parties see a way forward through the divorce. When feelings are raw, it’s important to get the emotional support you need to deal with the stress of a divorce.