While adultery is not illegal in most jurisdictions, it can play a role in divorce cases. If your spouse had an affair, you might wonder how that fact could affect your divorce.
There are a few facts to understand before you file.
Grounds for a fault-based divorce
Tennessee provides provisions for both no-fault and fault-based divorces. Adultery is one of the avenues for a fault-based divorce. If you have proof that your spouse was unfaithful, that action qualifies as grounds to terminate the marriage.
Influence on asset division
Adultery can factor into the division of marital assets. When you file a fault-based divorce, the court often considers the wrongdoing, such as adultery, when dividing property and debts. The wronged spouse may receive more of the marital assets as compensation for the emotional distress and financial losses of the affair.
Contribution to alimony or spousal support
When the court awards alimony or spousal support, adultery often factors into the calculation of the amount. This means that, as the innocent spouse, you might receive more spousal support due to the affair.
Factoring into custody determinations
When deciding on child custody, the court considers the best interest of the children in the determination. Sometimes, adulterous behavior and the situations surrounding those decisions may influence the court’s assessment of that parent’s suitability for custody.
According to Psychology Today, adultery contributes to up to 40% of divorces. Understanding how an affair affects your case will make it easier for you to prepare. Gather evidence of your spouse’s infidelity if you plan to make it a factor in your case.