You might have heard that committing infidelity will have a negative effect on your ability to seek alimony as part of your divorce settlement or somehow make an impact on your property division. Conversely, you might have been told that if your spouse cheated on you, you can expect a larger share of your marital property or a greater amount of alimony after your divorce. The truth is, whether any infidelity that was present in your marriage will affect these determinations is much more complicated than this.
This is one of the main issues that the court uses to determine whether to allow infidelity to affect its rulings on alimony and property division.
In cases where infidelity affects a property ruling, it is because the cheating partner spent marital money on his or her affair partner. If the court can prove that he or she took from the couple’s joint finances to pay for dates and gifts, it may rule that the innocent partner is entitled to a greater share of the couple’s assets to make up for the loss of this money.
In an alimony ruling, it is rare for infidelity to be considered as a factor when determining an appropriate amount and whether an individual is entitled to alimony at all. Most divorces in New Jersey are no-fault divorces, which means that neither spouse alleges that the other caused the breakdown of the marriage through bad behavior. In a fault divorce, such as a divorce that occurs because of infidelity or another recognized fault, the court may consider infidelity more closely to make what it feels is an appropriate ruling.
Alimony is Not a Form of Vindication
It is important to remember that the court does not award alimony or divide a couple’s property based on emotional cues. Instead, it is done to ensure that each partner comes away from the marriage with his or her fair share of the couple’s assets and the ability to live independently. If you are unsure about whether infidelity will affect your divorce case, discuss it with an experienced divorce attorney.
When you are going through a divorce or even simply considering filing for divorce in the near future, you are likely feeling inundated with questions about what will and will not affect your divorce settlement. For the answers to these questions and other types of legal guidance, contact our team at The Law Office of Eric B. Hannum Esq., LLC. today to schedule your legal consultation with our firm. We proudly serve clients in Monmouth, Mercer, Burlington, Ocean, and Middlesex counties.