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What Is a Cheating Spouse Entitled To In Divorce?

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Mar 31, 2022

What Is A Cheating Spouse Entitled To In Divorce?

What Happens in a Divorce When a Spouse Cheats?

A cheating spouse complicates the no-fault divorce outcome in 80 percent of divorce cases nationally. If you’re the wronged party, it can put you in a stronger position. However, there are other factors at play as well.

In this article, we’ll be examining the ramifications of adultery and what it might mean for your divorce. (Regardless of which “side” you’re on.) Let’s begin.

No-Fault vs. At-Fault

No-fault divorce is a divorce in which the dissolution of a marriage does not require a showing of wrongdoing by either party. The no-fault ground for divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. In a no-fault divorce, the court will typically divide the assets and debts of the parties evenly.

However, what happens in a divorce when a spouse cheats can change this dynamic considerably. For example, suppose there is evidence that one party spent marital funds on an extramarital affair. In that case, the court may award a more significant share of the assets to the innocent party. Similarly, if one party hid assets or otherwise attempted to defraud the other party, the court may consider this.

Understanding Motives of a Cheating Spouse

Both men and women can be equally tempted to stray when it comes to fidelity. However, there are some critical differences between the genders regarding the factors that lead to infidelity.

For example, research has shown that men are more likely to cheat if they feel their partner is not meeting their needs in the relationship. This can include feeling neglected or unappreciated.

In contrast, women are more likely to cheat if they feel emotionally disconnected from their partners. This can be due to a lack of communication or feeling like their partner is not invested in the relationship.

Additionally, both men and women may be tempted to cheat if they feel they are not being satisfied sexually. This can be due to a difference in libido or sexual compatibility.

These factors can be important because they can be used as an argument on either side to justify the affair or get a larger piece of the judgment if you’re the victim.

Alimony, Division of Assets, and Child Custody

If you have an extramarital affair, it can significantly impact your divorce proceedings. In many states, adultery is grounds for divorce, so if your spouse cheats, you may be able to use that to improve your bargaining position. So, the answer to questions like, “Do you still get half if you cheated?” or “Does the wife get alimony if she cheated?” Not necessarily. 

Additionally, an affair can affect child custody and alimony decisions.

If the affair caused financial hardship for your family, or if your spouse had an affair with someone who could pose a danger to your children, the court may consider those factors when making custody and alimony decisions. However, each case is unique. The court will ultimately make decisions based on what is in the children’s best interests.

How an Attorney Can Help

Whether divorcing a cheating husband or wife or being the cheating spouse yourself, it’s essential to work with an attorney on your case. Emotions are always high when an affair is involved, so find an attorney that can help you balance those emotions with what is realistic and beneficial to your side.

Dalena & Bosch have many years of experience helping couples and families with a divorce through these difficult situations. If you need assistance with your divorce case, please do not hesitate to contact Delana & Bosch. We look forward to helping you through this challenging time in your life.

Elizabeth Dalena helped me through a very difficult divorce and I felt working with her was like working with a friend you can trust! Beth, thank you for your professionalism and helping me through this difficult time.
Michael Mastrogiacomo - March 2020
If you’ve been searching for an honest and empathetic attorney...someone you can trust while you navigate the difficult and emotional world of family law, then do yourself a favor and contact Beth Dalena & Jessica Bosch. You’ll be so glad you did.
Par 5 Consulting - March 2020
When you are in the painful and often frightening process of divorce, the women of this law firm bring you confidence and security with their knowledge and professionalism. They exhibit that rare combination of the willingness to hold your hand like a compassionate friend and defend you like a piranha in the courtroom when necessary. They exhibit dedication, and the grace and wisdom of their long term experience. They look…
Cindy Morhouse - February 2020
These ladies have helped me several times in my experience with them. Jessica was my divorce attorney and I can say without hesitation, she was professionally and personally a gift to me. She handled my case (adversarial at best) with grace and knowledge. A fighter when necessary. She handled me in my personal state as a friend. Compassionate and kind. Beth assisted me with rewriting my deed after my divorce…
Scarlett O - January 2020
I chose Jessica A. Bosch to represent me because she was compassionate and knowledgeable. My divorce was a long and difficult journey. During this time, I lost sight of what was really important. Jessica kept me grounded and focused on what would be best for me after the divorce. I am grateful for her help in protecting two very important financial things that I might have given up. I didn't…
Cynthia R - December 2019