My Spouse Cheated. How Will This Affect Our Divorce?
Whether it is a one-time adulterous act or an ongoing affair, being cheated on is painful. Many marriages are unable to survive an act of infidelity. If you are getting divorced and your spouse cheated on you, you may wonder how this can impact divorce. You may wonder if you will be entitled to a greater share of the marital estate or will gain an edge in child custody matters because of the adultery. Read on to learn about adultery may influence a divorce case in Illinois.
Illinois Does Not Have Fault-Based Grounds for Divorce
When you ask the court to grant you a divorce, you will need to state the reasons or “grounds” for the divorce. Illinois is a no-fault divorce state. This means that there are no fault-based grounds for divorce. You will not mention your spouse’s infidelity as the reason for your divorce in your divorce petition. Currently, the only ground available in Illinois divorce cases is “irreconcilable differences.”
Cheating May Impact Property Division in Rare Cases
Unlike other states, Illinois courts do not factor in marital misconduct when making decisions about the division of marital assets and debts. Usually, a spouse’s infidelity does not impact the property division process. However, there are some exceptions. If your spouse spent a significant amount of money on the affair partner, this may be considered “dissipation of assets.” You may be able to file a dissipation of assets claim and recoup the lost funds or property.
Child Custody and Infidelity
Similarly to property division, extramarital affairs usually do not impact child custody. However, if a parent’s new boyfriend or girlfriend poses a threat to the child, this could potentially affect child custody issues. For example, if a new romantic partner has been convicted of sexual abuse of a minor, the court may require that this person not be present during the parent’s allotted parenting time.
Non-Legal Impact of Cheating on a Divorce Case
Even if your spouse’s affair does not impact the legal aspects of divorce like property division and child custody, it will almost certainly affect your divorce. Often, infidelity erodes the trust between married people. This can make it difficult or nearly impossible to discuss and reach an agreement on divorce terms. If you are in this situation, you do not have to face it alone. Reach out to an experienced divorce lawyer for help.
Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer
The skilled Lombard divorce attorneys at Aldrich & Siedlarz Law, P.C. understand how infidelity can affect a divorce case. We are here to guide you through the divorce process and ensure your rights are protected every step of the way. Call us at 630-953-3000 for a free, confidential case assessment. Our firm also has a Polish-speaking attorney.