How might adultery affect a New York divorce?

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2024 | Divorce |

Adultery can impact New York divorce proceedings, affecting various aspects of the process Adultery is a fault ground for divorce, meaning that the spouse cheated on can use it as a basis for seeking a divorce.

However, while adultery may influence certain aspects of the divorce process, its impact can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the discretion of the court.

Asset division in divorce cases

Marital property is subject to equitable distribution upon divorce. This means it undergoes fair, but not necessarily equal, division between the spouses. Courts may consider adultery when determining the division of marital assets. This is particularly likely if the cheating spouse squandered marital funds on the extramarital affair. However, the court will consider the length of the marriage, each spouse’s financial contributions and each party’s needs in making decisions about asset division.

Spousal maintenance considerations

Adultery can also influence decisions regarding spousal maintenance in divorce cases. If the cheating spouse’s infidelity led to the breakdown of the marriage, it may affect his or her eligibility for spousal support. If the adulterous conduct impacted the financial well-being of the innocent spouse, it could be a factor in determining the amount and duration of maintenance payments.

Child custody and visitation agreements

In cases where adultery took place, the court may consider the moral character and conduct of the parents when making decisions about child custody and visitation. However, the primary consideration in child custody cases is the child’s best interests. The court will prioritize factors such as the child’s relationship with each parent, his or her living environment and his or her emotional and physical well-being.

Proving adultery in court is not always easy. Those looking to show that their partner cheated must furnish clear proof of the infidelity and may need to call in witnesses to help do so.


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