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How can adultery affect a divorce?

| Dec 16, 2020 | Divorce |

In a state with fault divorce like Maryland, adultery can have a massive impact on the outcome of the divorce. While there are a few arguments that can protect the spouse accused of adultery in court, they typically end up with a smaller share of the assets and less room to negotiate. Here’s how adultery can affect a divorce in a state with fault divorce laws.

How can adultery affect a divorce?

In a fault divorce, one spouse can request a divorce by proving that the other spouse committed a fault of some kind. This can involve abuse, adultery, abandonment or even a failure to fulfill their sexual duties. Once they’ve proven that the fault occurred, the judge may grant their request for divorce.

In a no-fault state, whoever was at fault is irrelevant to the property-division process. But in a fault divorce state like Maryland, the person who committed adultery could easily receive a smaller share of the assets. They might also have to pay more spousal or child support and might find it harder to negotiate during the divorce process.

However, the former spouse might use certain defenses that could help their case in court. Depending on the situation, they might argue that the spouse knew about the adultery and chose to do nothing about it. They might also claim that their other spouse had an affair or deliberately participated in the adultery. They might even claim that their spouse provoked their adultery by abusing them, abandoning them or committing some other fault. In some cases, the spouse might admit that the two of them fabricated a story so they could file for divorce.

How could an attorney help you in this situation?

Your spouse might have committed adultery, but you won’t be able to get far if you can’t prove it. An attorney might help you prove the adultery took place so that you can get the divorce granted as quickly as possible. They might also defend you if your former spouse tries to make false claims, like saying that you knew about the adultery when it happened.

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