How Does Infidelity Affect Divorce?
Infidelity is a common cause of divorce and can influence a court’s final decisions in certain cases. When a married person is accused of adultery and plans on divorcing, they cannot help but wonder how things will play out in regard to alimony, property division, and child custody. The answer depends on state laws, but there are some other factors as well.
In New Jersey, spouses can either choose a fault-based or no-fault divorce. No-fault divorces are generally cited as “irreconcilable differences,” but fault-based ones can be blamed on physical or mental cruelty, desertion, alcohol or drug abuse, or adultery.
New Jersey judges will not always consider these when deciding how to split up the property between spouses or the final child custody arrangements. However, they will look at evidence of misconduct when making determinations pertaining to alimony. In other words, if there is proof of infidelity, the alleged adulterer might be able to keep the house and have physical custody of the children, but might be awarded less alimony.
Can Infidelity Lead to Larger Awards?
When there is proof of adultery, the non-cheating spouse might be awarded a larger settlement. Bear in mind that the evidence-gathering phase might take more time and be more involved. Deciding to pursue the evidence requires careful consideration and the choice to go down that road is up to you and your attorney.
New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, so judges divide up marital property in the fairest ways possible. This does not always equal a 50/50 split. Adultery on its own is not usually a reason to award a non-cheating spouse more property.
Can Adultery Impact Child Custody?
Parents who are accused of infidelity are not necessarily penalized through child custody for their actions. Child custody and visitation decisions are based on what is in the children’s best interests, and a parent is not considered to be unfit unless their behavior harms the child. While having an affair might be looked upon as poor judgment, it does not imply that the adulterer is a bad parent.
New Jersey courts hold divorcing parents to high standards of behavior, so it is best for these individuals to avoid starting new relationships during divorce proceedings. It might also be wise to refrain from getting too involved with a current affair, so taking vacations, making large purchases, and similar actions should be held off. Exposing children to an affair while they are dealing with their parents’ divorce can lead to unforeseen, difficult circumstances.
Burlington County Divorce Lawyers at Goldstein & Mignogna, P.A. Help Separating Couples Deal With the Issue of Infidelity
Accusations and proof of infidelity may impact a divorce outcome. It is crucial to understand how judges deal with this information, and our Burlington County divorce lawyers at Goldstein & Mignogna, P.A. can help. For a confidential consultation, call us at 856-890-9400 or complete our online form. Located in Marlton, New Jersey, we serve clients in South Jersey, including Burlington County, Camden County, and Gloucester County.