Everyone makes mistakes in their life. In some cases, these mistakes can affect a marriage, causing it to end. When a spouse commits adultery, leading to a divorce, it is often wondered if the situation can affect the outcome of the proceedings in any way. Continue reading below to learn more and contact an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney to learn more.
What are Grounds for Divorce?
When a spouse files for divorce from their partner, they must cite either “fault” or “no-fault” grounds. No-fault grounds may be cited either in the event of a physical separation for 18 or more consecutive months or irreconcilable differences for at least one year. Fault grounds can be cited in the event of one spouse’s misconduct. This includes situations of adultery.
Do I Have to Cite Fault Grounds if My Spouse Committed Adultery?
When a divorce is taking place due to an adulterous spouse, it is important to know that fault grounds do not necessarily have to be filed. There are many situations in which spouses recognize that their marriage is ending and choose to avoid a legal battle. When this happens, they can cite no-fault grounds. There are other cases in which spouses choose to participate in alternative divorce methods, such as mediation, arbitration, or a collaborative divorce. This is often done to allow the couple privacy, as citing fault grounds can become a public record.
Can Adultery Impact Divorce Proceedings?
The outcome of every divorce can be different from the one before it. Proceedings often vary depending on the nature, duration, and details of the marriage. The following are some ways that adultery can impact the outcome of a divorce settlement:
- Division of Assets: There is no impact of fault vs. no-fault when dealing with the equitable distribution of marital property in a divorce.
- Alimony and spousal support: A spouse who committed adultery may be awarded less alimony or required to pay a greater amount in alimony.
- Child custody: Marital misconduct may not impact on this matter unless the misconduct was potentially harmful to the child.
- Child support: The most common way for adultery to be a factor is through a trickle down effect after receiving less parenting time in the child custody agreement.
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