Can Infidelity Affect a Divorce?

Our Bergen County Divorce Lawyers at Torchin Martel Orr LLC Help Clients Navigate the Divorce Process

If you are seeking a divorce in New Jersey, you can pursue a no-fault or a fault-based divorce. While most couples file for a no-fault divorce since they tend to be significantly less time-consuming, contentious, and expensive, some circumstances may warrant a fault-based divorce. For example, if you believe that your spouse has been unfaithful, this is a fault-based grounds for divorce.

Infidelity can also have an impact on the outcome of your divorce settlement. If you wish to file for divorce due to your spouse’s infidelity, it is highly recommended that you contact an experienced divorce lawyer at your earliest convenience.

Pursuing a Fault-Based Divorce in New Jersey

Even if your spouse has engaged in an extramarital affair, you may want to consider your options when it comes to the type of divorce you want to have. For example, you may feel strongly about pursuing a fault-based divorce so that your spouse faces consequences for being unfaithful. However, it is important to consider the fact that a fault-based divorce is often significantly more expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally fraught than a no-fault divorce. There are several factors that you will need to consider when filing for divorce, including how motivated you are to reach a divorce agreement as quickly as possible, if you have custody issues that need to be resolved, and the impact that your spouse’s affair has had on you and your family.

Will My Spouse’s Infidelity Impact Spousal Support?

If you do intend to pursue an at-fault divorce citing infidelity, you will need to file a Complaint for Divorce with the New Jersey Superior Court Family Division and include the grounds for divorce. By pursuing a Complaint for Divorce, it may be possible for you to seek amended alimony or the distribution of finances and marital assets to reflect your spouse’s infidelity. For example, if your spouse used your shared finances to pay for expensive trips, jewelry, or other expenses related to the affair, a judge may rule that the money that your spouse spent towards the affair should be added to your settlement amount. In addition, your spouse may lose the right to certain alimony payments if they are benefiting financially from the person with whom they are having an affair.

Will Child Support Be Affected By My Spouse’s Infidelity?

Ultimately, your spouse’s affair may not have a direct impact on who will be granted custody of the children because the court system is committed to ruling based on what is in the best interest of the children. While an extramarital affair is a betrayal of marital vows, it does not mean that your spouse is a bad parent or that you should automatically get custody of the children because of your spouse’s infidelity. It also does not mean you will receive a higher child support payment from your spouse. A highly skilled divorce lawyer will work closely with you to ensure that your legal and financial rights are protected and that your children’s best interests are the top priority.

How Is Marital Property Divided If My Spouse Was Unfaithful?

New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital property is divided in a manner that the court deems fair, as opposed to an automatic 50/50 split. If your spouse had an affair, the court may consider the details surrounding the affair, including whether your spouse spent money on lavish gifts or trips, and determine that the fairest division of marital property involves you receiving a larger percentage of the property. Your divorce lawyer will negotiate on your behalf and pursue the outcome of your deserved settlement.

Our Bergen County Divorce Lawyers at Torchin Martel Orr LLC Help Clients Navigate the Divorce Process

If you are filing for divorce after discovering that your spouse was unfaithful, you are urged to contact our Bergen County divorce lawyers at Torchin Martel Orr LLC as soon as possible. We will discuss the available options and recommend the best legal course of action. Our dedicated legal team will pursue the best possible settlement outcome. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us today at 201-971-4866 or contact us online. Located in Paramus, New Jersey, we serve clients in Bergen County, Morris County, Essex County, Hudson County, and the surrounding towns in northern New Jersey.