It is possible for an adulterous spouse to be denied alimony (or be awarded lower-than-normal alimony), but it is not automatic. If you are going through a divorce and your spouse cheated on you, you may be able to use the issue of adultery to dilute the alimony in these situations.
If Your State Laws Allow It
Divorce laws are determined at the state level, which means there are variations in different states. For example, some states give more weight to the issue of adultery as it pertains to alimony determination than others. In fact, there are states that may deny your partner alimony if they cheated on you during the marriage. Therefore, the first thing is to research your state laws to know where it stands; or you can just consult a divorce lawyer.
If You Did Not Condone It
You may also be required to prove that you did not condone the adultery, especially if your spouse is claiming that you did. This is why it is difficult to use adultery as a ground for divorce if you knew about your partner's adulterous act over a year ago and you have been living with them ever since. Your partner can easily argue that you had already forgiven them.
If You Did Not Collude With Your Spouse
It is possible for a couple to plan an adulterous relationship for one of them, for example, if they want to use the act as grounds for divorce. This may be the case, for example, if you suspect that a fault divorce will be granted faster than a no-fault divorce. However, some people start out with such plans but then turn around and betray their partner's by accusing them of adultery. If your partner proves that you colluded with them on the adultery issue, then the issue will not affect alimony determination.
If You Can Prove Actual Sexual Relations
You should also know that when it comes to divorce, and especially in relations to alimony determination, adultery strictly refers to sexual relations between your spouse and another person. This means a romantic liaison between your spouse and another person, maybe they engaged in phone sex or kissed another person, will not count. You need to prove actual sexual intercourse to succeed with your plea.
If You Are Not Guilty Of Adultery
Lastly, the court will not use adultery to deny your partner alimony if you are also guilty of the same act. Adultery can also affect the determination of alimony if only one party is guilty of committing it. Therefore, the minute your spouse will succeed in proving your adulterous relationship is the minute the court will take it out of the alimony calculations.
For more information, contact a lawyer like Diane Dramko, Attorney At Law.