THE PRICE OF ADULTERY
Your spouse cheating on you breaks every vow they ever took when you both were initially married. When you were married, you both made a promise to each other to stay true. However, sometimes, spouses don’t keep their promises and choose to spend their time elsewhere. Adultery is a serious offense, and if proven, could be costly in a divorce proceeding.
In this blog, we will talk about the grounds for divorce and what advantages you have over your cheating spouse in the courtroom.
If you find that your spouse has been cheating on you with someone else, you may have the upper hand in your divorce case. When spouses are found to be unfaithful, their character is brought into question. However, this doesn’t mean that you will be completely successful in your case. For example, if there is evidence that you were aware of the adultery long before you submitted for divorce, you may not be entitled to certain requests, such as money and full-time child custody. But, if it is evident you have filed for divorce based on the knowledge of your spouse’s infidelity, you may submit a fault-grounds divorce. This means that you (the plaintiff) are accusing the defendant (your cheating ex) of causing the downfall of your marriage. Fault grounds can be tricky, mainly because you have to prove that your spouse was unfaithful to you. This means that verbal confirmation is not enough, even if your spouse confesses to the misconduct. Why? Even if your cheating ex-partner states that they are guilty of adultery, they can easily deny it in court. Proof means that you need tangible evidence that your spouse was with someone else intimately to convince the court that misconduct occurred.
IMPACT OF MISCONDUCT
Different states have alternate views on the seriousness of infidelity. The state of Oklahoma views marriage very seriously. This means that adultery misconduct is taken into account in a divorce proceeding and could disrupt the ending settlement agreement between parties. In Oklahoma, if you have evidence proving that your spouse cheated on you within 30 days of you filing for divorce, they will be guilty of adultery. This, of course, is not a crime but can help your case when deciding matters, such as custody, alimony, and other matters relating to financial divisions.
If you have evidence of your spouse cheating on you within six months of being married, they can be charged with bigamy. This is a felony in the state of Oklahoma and can significantly improve the chances of being granted custody of your child and even more money in the settlement.
DISSIPATION OF ASSETS
Speaking of money, the dissipation of assets in a divorce case is a complicated process. If your judge does not consider the adultery relevant to the case in question, you still can call for a dissipation of assets claim. This is when you can ask the court to award you the money that your spouse spent on someone else that was not for marital purposes. For example, this sort of information can be found in bank statements, in which your spouse spent money on gifts, vacations, and other items on their lover. If you have proof of the infidelity and the items your ex-spouse paid for, you can lay claim to them.
Of course, just because you can claim something does not mean you will receive the money in the divorce agreement. For example, if there is evidence that you knew about the adultery and did nothing, you don’t have as much claim to the assets your ex-spouse used.
ALIMONY AND CUSTODY
If your spouse is found guilty of adultery or bigamy, they won’t have a claim to alimony. Of course, each case is different, so there are no absolutes. However, in most cases, adulterous spouses don’t have much claim to spousal support.
Child custody cases are a little bit different because they are far more serious. Even if your ex is found guilty of adultery, this does not mean they don’t have the right to the custody of their child. The idea behind this rule is that, though they cheated, your spouse did not harm the child. Therefore, because they did not harm the child, and have kept up their responsibilities as a parent, they are still found to be a fit parent. But, if there is evidence that the adulterous parent involved the child, say, to keep the infidelity secret, the court would award less custody to that parent. Again, adultery does not ensure these outcomes. Just because your spouse is found to be adulterous, it does not mean you are entitled to full custody of your child. Ultimately, the court chooses custody on the basis of what is best for the child. If your ex-partner never involved or harmed the child, they still have the same rights to custody as you do.
WOMEN AND CHILDREN’S LAW CENTER IN OKLAHOMA CITY
If you are looking for a divorce lawyer in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to help you with your case, contact us. Our center is designed to help families conclude their cases as swiftly as possible. At our firm, we have trained, experienced divorce attorneys that might be able to help you in your divorce case. If you would like incredible legal representation, contact us today.