Infidelity. Cheating. Extramarital affair. I hear these words frequently from people I consult with. I am repeatedly asked whether their spouse’s affair makes a difference to the legal divorce process. And, through tears, I am told that the turmoil caused by their spouse’s affair isn’t fair. But does an affair in a divorce really matter?
An affair or infidelity in a marriage can cause so much upset for a person or family. But, in the legal divorce process, does an affair really matter?
Most states in United States are “no fault” divorce states. This means that, in a no-fault divorce state, the court can grant a divorce without requiring a party to prove that the other party did something wrong to break up the marriage. So, from the lens of a family court in a no-fault divorce state, a spouse’s affair is irrelevant to the legal divorce process.
If you are considering or experiencing divorce and infidelity has occurred in your marriage, I suggest that you first confirm whether you live in a no-fault divorce state. Then, I encourage you to get support for the emotional side-effects that are often present when an affair occurs. You want to make sure that you can make rational and educated decisions during the divorce process.
If you want more help in navigating the divorce process, consider buying one of my books on Amazon.