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Can adultery impact your divorce proceedings?

On Behalf of | Nov 17, 2018 | divorce, Firm News |

Louisiana is a state that allows couples to file for divorce on both fault and no-fault grounds. It can play a big part in how the court determines how the marital assets are divided. If one party caused the separation by getting arrested or committing domestic abuse, then the court is likely to side with the other spouse under most circumstances.

Adultery is another common, reasonable ground for divorce. However, unlike domestic violence or committing the felony, it is not against the law to be unfaithful to your partner. Regardless, many cheaters believe that their chances of getting anything above equitable sharing are gone when their spouse uses their adulterous actions against them in the court. While it is not an impossibility that the court may side with your spouse if you cheat on them, how much you get out of the divorce will ultimately depend on the circumstances surrounding your affairs.

Child custody

If you two have one or more children, your spouse will likely try to convince the court that seeing another partner makes you a terrible parent to gain primary custody. Not all people who cheat on their spouses do it to get away from their entire family. Even if you have some issues with your spouse, that does not mean you love your kids less because of them.

You need to convince the court that your affair had nothing to do with the children and that it had little to no impact on your time with them. For example, if you were out of town on a business trip and met up with someone, the court could find it as a legitimate excuse since you had no way to be with your children even if you did not commit adultery. If you want your kids, you need to show them that you are still willing to be a caring father and that your pre- and post-divorce relationships will not have any negative impact on you raising them.

Asset division and alimony

Your spouse will likely play the victim card in the courtroom and try to convince the judge how you emotionally hurt her to get more of the marital assets or a potential alimony payment. While there are several factors that go into determining whether one spouse deserves alimony or not, adultery is not mentioned in the state legislature for the determination of final periodic support. Felonies and domestic abuse are part of those factors, but again, those are criminal acts.

However, adultery can impact the proceedings if you spent a significant portion of your marital assets on your affairs. If you simply brought your other partner some flowers or a box of chocolate, the court will not take it seriously. However, if you spent secret money getting a vacation somewhere and buying them expensive jewelry, then your spouse has substantial ammo to use against you in the proceedings.

If you are unsure how much your acts of adultery will impact your divorce court proceedings, experienced family law attorneys can help you set up your arguments to ensure that you start the next part of your life with a steady financial plan.