Massachusetts Legal Blog

Adultery and Divorce: What You Need to Know

One of the most painful ways to end a marriage is finding out your spouse has committed adultery. There’s no questioning that this sort of action goes against everything marriage is built upon, and it is a complete betrayal. Having to endure the pain of knowing your spouse was cheating on you cannot easily be overcome.

Wanting to divorce that person because of their betrayal is definitely justified. Before declaring a divorce for this reason, however, it’s important you consider how this can affect the outcome of your divorce, including its impact on alimony. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about adultery and divorce.

Consider Fault vs. No-Fault Divorce

Under Massachusetts law, there are a variety of reasons one might file for divorce. Depending on the reason for your divorce filing, the divorce may be considered “fault-based” or “no-fault.” This is somewhat unique around the country, as some states only operate under one or the other.

When it comes to cheating, the divorce case will always be considered fault-based. As such, there are some advantages and disadvantages you’d want to consider and some prefer to cite an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” as their reason instead.

Filing for A Divorce Under Adultery

When you file for divorce and list cheating as the reason, the actual, financial impact of this on the case is very little in most cases. In fact, child support is a completely separate consideration. Unless there were reports of domestic violence, adultery is not going to have a large impact on proceedings when it comes to deciding custody.

On the other hand, the aforementioned “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” reason is a no-fault approach. In this case, the courts will require a six month cool down period, which can be a good reason to file under adultery. Furthermore, there are some instances where this sort of cheating during a divorce can have financial consequences.

Does Cheating Affect Alimony?

One area that can be impacted by infidelity is alimony. While it is uncommon for this to have a direct impact, if cheating led your spouse to improperly spend shared monetary resources, this can be taken into consideration. More specifically, perhaps your spouse purchased gifts for a partner they cheated with. If this were recurring, or excessive in nature, the court may consider this in alimony and adjust from there.

Working With a Divorce Attorney

Whether you file for divorce under the adultery route or not, here at Shapiro Law, we understand how painful and destructive cheating can be to a relationship. We fight tirelessly to ensure you can go through the divorce process with as little pain as possible. This means working towards fair alimony and ensuring you get the absolute best outcome.

No one enters a marriage expecting a divorce, but if you find yourself in a situation where you have no other recourse, don’t let yourself suffer any longer. Pick up the phone and give us a call today at (339) 298-2300.