How does cheating affect your divorce settlement

Divorce proceedings are a difficult and trying time where emotions can run high.  The turmoil of divorce can be made worse if you learn your spouse has been cheating on you.  Even if the indiscretions do not trigger the divorce, having a cheating spouse can be psychologically damaging and can lead to additional stress during the divorce.   Many people will ask lawyers what the legal impact of a cheating spouse can be.  The majority of Columbus, Ohio divorce lawyers will say that it has little affect in the courtroom, but a huge affect when negotiating a settlement.

Ohio Divorce Law : Adultery

Unless the court discovers financial misconduct, Ohio is generally a no-fault divorce state.  In no-fault states, the court isn’t looking to place blame during a divorce hearing, so the court tends to ignore instances of cheating, focusing instead on the dissolution of the marriage.  If there is financial misconduct, and the cheating spouse spends marital assets on his or her paramour, the cheating partner will have to pay up.  The courts will likely award an additional amount to the faithful spouse to compensate for the expenditure of joint funds.  This is generally rare, as the majority of cases don’t require the extra step of going to court.

Wife Cheated Divorce Settlement

The real impact of cheating during divorce proceedings occurs when you settle a case out of court.  Since the overwhelming majority of cases settle outside of the courtroom, the spouse who was cheated on often has a great advantage in negotiating the settlement.  Generally the unfaithful spouse will feel remorseful and often quick to acquiesce to the requests of the other spouse. Guilt and other emotions often come into play during negotiation settlements, giving one spouse an advantage that he or she will surely take.

This is why finding the right Ohio divorce lawyer is so important.  They will make sure that if you are the cheating spouse, you still focus on a positive outcome while negotiating.  Adversely, if you are the faithful spouse, and you feel you deserve more of the marital assets because of the indiscretion, the right attorney will be able to fight and negotiate for you to get you what you want.  It is important not to let emotions get away from you during negotiations.  Proper legal representation will keep you focused on the matter at hand and help you keep your emotions away from the negotiation table.

The last and most important question that people with children ask is what effect does a cheating spouse have on custody arrangements.  Generally if the divorce proceedings progress to court, the judge will look at the impact that the indiscretion had on the child.  Did the child witness the affair, has the new boyfriend or girlfriend of the cheating spouse been convicted of a crime?  The court must ask questions like that to ensure the child is placed in a safe environment after the divorce proceedings.  If the matter is settled out of court, then it is important that you discuss with your attorney any incidents that you felt put your child at risk.  Again, find an attorney who specializes in family law to help you navigate the common pitfalls of Divorce.