My Spouse Cheated—How Will That Affect My Divorce?By Moskowitz Law Group, LLC |
There’s no question that divorce is hard. When one spouse’s cheating is the cause for separation, everything can become even more painful. Adultery-based divorces can also be legally complicated. So, it is crucial to work with a divorce lawyer who has extensive experience helping people like you through this process.
What Do I Need to File a Divorce Based on Adultery in New Jersey?
There are two ways you can file for divorce in New Jersey: fault and no-fault. When marriage ends because of adultery, you could be able to file for divorce on fault-based grounds. However, you will need to provide proof of this claim, especially in cases where your spouse will likely not admit to their actions.
For cases of adultery, circumstantial evidence may be enough to file for and prove an at-fault divorce. In other words, you do not necessarily need to show direct proof of actual cheating encounters. Hotel receipts, phone records, emails, texts, and photos are all examples of circumstantial evidence that could indicate cheating in family court. You can also demonstrate that your spouse has a disposition toward adultery, which can come into play for spouses who have publicly cheated in the past.
If your spouse does not admit to what they have done and consent to the entry of a divorce based on adultery, you will have to submit your evidence at trial. Trials are costly, time consuming, and expensive. Additionally, the Court may have been strict with a requirement in the Rules that the person with whom your spouse cheated be served with and named in your Complaint for Divorce. This may be difficult to do physically and emotionally. Due to these difficulties, many people who have been cheated on decide to file a no-fault divorce so they can focus solely on issues regarding child custody, financial support, and dividing marital property.
How Adultery Affects Property Distribution and Alimony
New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, which means that property is divided in a way that is fair and not necessarily equally. Generally, marital fault is not a factor judges will consider when deciding the distribution of assets. However, a judge may consider whether a spouse misused or squandered marital assets during the relationship by spending or using them with the person they cheated with.
When a judge decides on alimony in a divorce case, they will evaluate the specific financial circumstances of the relationship. However, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that fault in an adultery case cannot affect the amount of alimony awarded, except in cases where the affair affects a couple’s economic status or involves especially egregious conduct. Alimony awards that take adultery into consideration are very rare. A divorce lawyer can provide more clarity on how adultery can affect asset division and alimony in a specific case.
Consult with an Adultery Divorce Attorney
Tackling a divorce is difficult enough and a cheating spouse can make these procedures even more challenging. It can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when a spouse is unfaithful, but our dedicated team at Moskowitz Law Group is here to guide you through this time.
We know how painful this process can be, which is why we are devoted to making this right for you and your family. Contact our compassionate team today to get started.