Reeder & Brown, P.C.


How Can Cheating or Infidelity Affect My Divorce?

Posted on July 08, 2021 in Criminal Law

joliet divorce lawyerThere are many reasons why married couples choose to divorce, including disagreements about finances or how children should be raised. However, many of the most contentious divorce cases involve infidelity. When one spouse has been unfaithful, the other spouse may experience betrayal, anger, and sadness, making it more difficult to reach agreements during the divorce process. Because infidelity can be an important part of why a marriage may be ending, spouses will want to understand whether this issue will play a role in their divorce proceedings.

Divorce and Marital Misconduct

Infidelity will be a highly consequential issue in a couple’s relationship, and because of this, spouses may expect that they will need to raise this issue during their divorce. However, there are only a few situations where this type of behavior may influence the decisions made during the divorce process. As difficult as it may be to ignore this issue, pointing out that a spouse who has cheated usually will not benefit the other spouse.

While infidelity may be a primary reason for the end of a couple’s marriage, there will be no need to mention this when filing for divorce. Illinois only recognizes “irreconcilable differences” as the grounds for divorce, so a divorce petition will only state that the couple’s marriage has broken down beyond repair. Similarly, Illinois law states that “marital misconduct” is not a factor that should be considered when dividing marital property or determining whether one party should pay spousal support to the other.

Usually, infidelity will only be addressed during the legal process of divorce if it has affected the couple’s finances or played a role in a parent’s relationship with their children. If a person dissipated marital assets while committing infidelity, such as by using marital funds to buy gifts for a lover, these actions may be addressed during the property division process. The other spouse may receive a proportionally larger share of marital assets to compensate them for the dissipated assets. A parent’s relationship with a new partner may also affect their ability to properly care for their children, especially if they have had less contact with their children or failed to play a close and continuing role in childcare responsibilities. These behaviors may become relevant when making decisions about the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time.

Contact Our Joliet Divorce Attorneys

If your marriage is ending because of issues such as infidelity, Reeder & Brown, P.C. can help you determine how to address these matters during your divorce. By working with an attorney who can advocate on your behalf, you can avoid letting your emotions control how you respond to disputes with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse. We can help you determine the best course of action to achieve your goals and complete the divorce process successfully. Contact our Will County divorce lawyers at 815-885-5980 to set up a free consultation.



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