Adultery or marital infidelity can do massive amounts of damage to an unsuspecting spouse. When you realize that your spouse has been seeing someone else, you may completely lose your sense of trust in them. You may also experience damage to your self-esteem and question what you lacked that would result in your spouse stepping out on you.
Although some people can work through the issues around marital infidelity and remain married, others wind up heading to divorce court after discovering that their spouse has been unfaithful. If you already think that you would have a hard time letting go and trusting your spouse again, divorce may be the better option for your family.
Will cheating have a direct impact on the outcome of your divorce?
Does adultery matter in the eyes of the courts?
Adultery may be a common reason for people to seek divorces, but it is no longer grounds for divorce in Illinois. Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, and the courts only hear divorce cases stemming from no-fault claims of irreconcilable differences. Spouses don’t need to prove fault in order to get a divorce. Proving fault was often why adultery would come up in court proceedings.
When it comes to the outcome of your divorce, adultery will have very little impact, if any. When it comes to the division of your property, the courts will try to split your assets and debts fairly, but they will not consider marital misconduct when deciding who gets what. The same is true for alimony.
Many spouses think that catching their partner in the act will entitle them to permanent alimony or a larger amount of it. The amount and duration of alimony awarded, as well as property division, will reflect your financial circumstances and marital contributions, rather than any wrongdoing by either party. When it comes to parenting rights, issues between spouses won’t matter nearly as much as the best interests of the children.
Marital agreements may allow for some financial consequences
If you and your spouse signed a prenuptial agreement before you got married or if you executed a postnuptial agreement because of previous marital issues, there could be financial consequences for infidelity.
Provided that you and your spouse agreed to those terms, the courts may uphold a marital agreement that requests specific compensation for the victim of adultery. However, depending on whether or not your spouse admits their wrongdoing, you may have to present evidence, which could drastically increase the expense involved in your divorce.