How Could My Spouse’s Infidelity Impact Our Divorce?
When you are deeply in love with your spouse, it can be nearly impossible to imagine that your spouse would ever do anything to hurt you, let alone cheat on you. To be fair, episodes of infidelity are rarely the result of a person intentionally looking to cause pain for their spouse or committed romantic partner. In many cases, in fact, unfaithfulness is often the manifestation of much deeper problems in the relationship, including a lack of communication, feelings of isolation, and discontent with one another. Infidelity, however, may be the last straw that leads the offended spouse to file for divorce, often with the expectation that such behavior may afford him or her additional considerations in the divorce process.
Limited Legal Impact
It is completely understandable that a spouse whose partner is guilty of infidelity would feel betrayed and angry and would wish to hold the cheating party accountable for his or her behavior. If you ever found yourself in that type of situation, it would only seem fair for your spouse to be responsible for breaking up your marriage in that way. Unless you and your spouse negotiated an infidelity clause in a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, however, you are most likely going to be out of luck, at least as far the law is concerned.
Infidelity, along with all other negative or destructive behaviors like mental or physical cruelty or abandonment, can no longer be used as official grounds for divorce in Illinois. Recent changes to the law provide that all divorces in the state are to be granted on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, regardless of what may have occurred during the marriage. The law also prohibits a divorce judge from considering a spouse’s “misconduct” when dividing marital property or deciding whether to award spousal maintenance (alimony).
Considerations for Children
While you may be able to recoup some of the money your spouse spent on his or her affair through a dissipation claim, infidelity is unlikely to significantly impact your divorce. There may, however, be an exception. If your spouse’s behavior is so egregious that it is found to present a serious danger to your children, his or her parental responsibilities and parenting time may be severely limited. According to Illinois law, such danger may be emotional, psychological, or moral in addition to physical. You will need to show that your spouse’s adulterous relationship is the source of actual danger to your children or is directly impacting his or her relationship with them.
A Wheaton Divorce Lawyer Can Help
The process of divorce is difficult enough under the best of circumstances but is even more challenging when combined with the emotional effects of an unfaithful spouse. Contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney for guidance with your divorce. At MKFM Law, we understand the law and will work with you to help you find the happiness and security you deserve. Call 630-665-7300 for a confidential consultation today.