The truth is although adultery remains a crime in some states, the adulterer is rarely held accountable during divorce.
If you scan the gossip magazines or even the dailies regarding celebrity divorces, you may find a common thread running. A married celebrity stays, this gets reported and the very next day there is news of his or her spouse filing for a divorce. In these times of increased instances of sexual misdemeanor, sex outside of marriage is a recipe for disaster, as has been experienced by so many celebrities.
Heidi Klum was accused of cheating on her husband, Seal, with her bodyguard, while being married to him. They divorced. Brad Pitt cheated on Jennifer Aniston with Angelina Jolie that led to their divorce. The list of unfaithful celebrities is endless.
However, is cheating only rampant among celebrities? Alas, no. It’s common for lay couples too. And they belong to all age groups. Although this may be due to various reasons, it is devastating for the person being cheated upon.
Is it a fit case for divorce?
If you ever find yourself in such a situation, where you suspect your spouse to have cheated on you or have reasons to believe so, your first reaction, of course, would be of shock. Since you cannot imagine that he or she was even capable of doing such a thing and being unfaithful to you.
Your next reaction will probably be hurt, since you feel betrayed that your spouse has warmed up to someone else, leaving you miserable in the thought that your beloved spouse doesn’t love you anymore. Your final reaction would be of indignation, where you feel both shocked and angry at the unfairness of it all.
This certainly is a delicate situation where your senses may become numb and you find yourself at a loss to think out your next course of action. So, what are you to do?
You can go the Coleen way. Coleen chose not to break her nine-year-old marriage with Wayne Rooney, the English football star, when he was caught with the party girl, Laura Simpson, on a night out. Coleen, pregnant with her fourth child, was under tremendous shock and initially contemplated divorcing Rooney. But didn’t do so, why? Because she didn’t want her children, especially the newborn, to be without a father.
The other option is to go in for a divorce. This is probably the most preferred course for the aggrieved party, as is most often witnessed in celebrity cheating cases.
Impact of adultery on divorce
In the US, the impact of an extra-marital relationship on divorce varies from state to state. The truth is although adultery remains a crime in some states, the adulterer is rarely prosecuted.
However, that is not to say that adultery ceases to be a reason for divorce. You can file for divorce against your adulterous spouse and get an upper hand in the distribution of assets resulting from such a divorce. The division of the marital estate depends on the nature of the adulterous relationship.
Let us see how adultery impacts a divorce case:
- In case the adulterer spouse has lavished marital property on his or her lover, including providing monetary support, the court may grant the aggrieved spouse a greater share in the marital property.
- If it is the wife who is an adulterer, she either loses her rights to alimony or face serious curtailment, irrespective of her need. In case the adulterous wife is already receiving alimony, it may get terminated if she chooses to stay with another person.
- If the adulterer spouse is infected with a sexually transmitted disease and, he or she, in turn, infects the married partner, this becomes a case of personal injury and action is taken accordingly against the offending spouse.
- As regards the custody of children, the court will give the aggrieved spouse complete custody of the kids, if the adulterer spouse had carried out such a relationship in front of the children or exposed them to inappropriate people or situations.
Negotiation of a divorce settlement
The most problematic influence that adultery may have on a divorce is in the negotiation of a divorce settlement. The demeanor that you maintain during the negotiation process can seriously affect the terms of the settlement.
If you are the aggrieved spouse, it is natural for you to feel angry and retributive. However, it is important to contain your emotions and maintain a calm state of mind.
By separating your actions from your reactions, you will manage to remain level-headed, while making important decisions regarding the settlement involving your finances, children and lifestyle. This way you will also be able to think what is best for you and your family.
Handling the complex case of divorce arising out of spouse’s adultery, without outside help, is difficult. Since adultery is a crime; you can take the services of a competent sex crimes defense attorney. This way you will stand to gain in settlement negotiations