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Adultery may not matter in divorce

You may be full of very strong emotions as you head into your divorce proceedings. Maybe your spouse cheated on you, spent all your money, or engaged in some other hurtful act that has left you bitter and angry. Even though you may have these strong feelings, it is important to realize that Maryland and other states have all but done away with the concept of "blame" during a divorce. If your spouse cheated on you, it will have little bearing on the outcome of your divorce case.

Even though this no-fault divorce concept generally saves money and time, some people may feel as though they did not get a fair shake in court, especially if they were betrayed by their spouses. You must consider the fact that adultery is not a punishable transgression in the eyes of divorce court.

Furthermore, courts are prohibited from punishing an overly controlling or abusive spouse in the context of property division. No-fault divorces do not take into account the fact that your husband or wife may have bullied you into staying at home when you could have been working. Unsavory personal traits, again, are not punishable under law; the judge will simply tell you that you chose to marry that particular person, and he will not second-guess decisions made in the context of your marriage. Sadly, abuse will not factor in to property division, either, even though victims may feel as though they deserve more of the marital estate.

If you have children, abuse and personality traits may be considerations best broached during the custody hearing. That information could be relevant for the safety of your kids. Furthermore, if you have developed a prenuptial agreement, the legal landscape could shift against the adulterous spouse. If you have questions about your legal rights during your divorce, contact a qualified divorce attorney. These professionals can answer questions and guide you through the sometimes-complicated world of marital dissolution.

Source:  huffingtonpost.com, "Why an affair may not matter in your divorce" Susan Saper Galamba, Apr. 29, 2013

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