It can be devastating to those who decide to get a divorce because of their spouse’s infidelity. Marital infidelity can cause feelings of sadness, hurt, anger, despair, and anguish, which can all cause the divorce process to be even more stressful and combative than your average divorce. If you are divorcing because of infidelity, you may be wondering whether or not your spouse’s adultery could give you an advantage in your divorce. While the answer is typically “no,” there are certain areas and aspects of your divorce that could be affected by a spouse’s infidelity.
Wasted Assets During an Affair
When it comes to asset and property division during a divorce, Illinois is considered an equitable division state. This means that each spouse will receive a share of the marital estate that is considered to be fair and just but does not always mean each spouse will receive half of everything. In regard to infidelity, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) specifically states that the court, “shall divide the marital property without regard to marital misconduct in just proportions…” which means that a spouse's infidelity will not be a deciding factor at all.
However, in cases that your spouse had an affair and spent marital money on his or her lover, you may be able to claim dissipation for those “wasted” assets. Dissipation is stated to occur when one spouse uses marital assets for reasons unrelated to the marriage while the marriage was going through an irretrievable breakdown. If you claim dissipation, you may be able to receive a larger portion of marital property, depending on what the court deems to be appropriate.
Issues Concerning Children
There is also a possibility that issues such as parenting time and parenting responsibilities could be affected by your spouse’s infidelity. In a majority of cases, parenting time and parenting responsibilities will not be affected if your spouse was unfaithful. However, if your spouse’s new partner poses a risk to your children, the court could use that when making decisions about parenting time. For example, if your spouse’s new partner is a registered sex offender or has been convicted of domestic violence, the court may impose restrictions on visitation with your spouse.
Questions About Your Illinois Divorce? Contact an Elmhurst, IL Divorce Lawyer Today
Even though a spouse's infidelity alone is not a valid reason on which to make divorce-related decisions, the actions of your spouse during such infidelity could possibly affect the terms of your divorce. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we understand the emotional distress that can come from going through a divorce with a spouse who has not been faithful. Our skilled DuPage County divorce attorneys can help you through the issues of your divorce and inform you of your rights when it comes to getting your fair share of marital property and protecting your children from your spouse’s new partner. Call our office today at 312-605-4041 to schedule a consultation.