Will Cheating Affect My Divorce Case?
Feb. 9, 2022
Adultery plays a significant role in the breakdown of a large percentage of marriages in the United States. When a spouse finds out that their spouse has cheated on them, they are more likely to file for divorce. But can the unfaithfulness of one spouse affect the divorce case?
Whether or not cheating will affect a divorce case varies from one case to another. If you are considering filing for divorce because your spouse was unfaithful or you were the one who engaged in adultery, you might want to contact a family law attorney to discuss the potential impact of cheating on your divorce case. Steven L. Rotenberg, PLLC handles divorce cases and family law matters in Bingham Farms, Michigan, and elsewhere in the greater Detroit area.
Does Adultery Affect Divorce Cases in Michigan?
Like many other states, Michigan is a no-fault divorce state. That means the law does not require a spouse to prove the other spouse’s fault in order to get a divorce. In other words, spouses can file for divorce alleging “irreconcilable differences,” and their divorce will be granted even if neither spouse was at fault for destroying the marriage.
Thus, if your spouse cheated on you, adultery is unlikely to affect your divorce case because Michigan is a no-fault divorce state. However, cheating may still factor in and affect other aspects of your divorce. Consider speaking with a family law attorney in Bingham Farms, Michigan, to determine how adultery might impact your divorce case in Michigan.
How Cheating May Still Affect Your Divorce Case
While you do not need to prove that your spouse was unfaithful or that he/she engaged in any other form of marital misconduct to file for divorce in Michigan, the fact that your spouse cheated on you may still affect various aspects of your divorce case, including:
Alimony. Michigan courts consider the adultery of either spouse when determining whether or not to award alimony. While alleging that your spouse cheated on you does not guarantee that the court will award spousal support, adultery will be considered along with other factors.
Division of property. Michigan is an equitable distribution state, which means the state divides marital property in a fair manner. Courts in Michigan consider what division of property would be fair given the couple’s circumstances. Thus, if one spouse was at fault for the divorce (e.g., because they cheated on their spouse), the court may consider this factor when dividing property.
Child custody. While it is rare for adultery to affect child custody, the spouse’s affair could potentially affect the custody arrangement. Under Michigan law, courts consider the best interests of the child when making custody-related decisions. Thus, a parent’s infidelity may affect the court’s child custody decision only if adultery in any way harms the child. For example, if a parent’s new romantic partner has substance abuse problems, the court may consider this factor when awarding custody.
How Can Legal Counsel Help?
Going through a divorce can be an emotionally taxing process, especially if the divorce involves claims of adultery. Whether you are the spouse who was cheated on or the one who is being accused of adultery, you might want to seek legal counsel from a skilled family law attorney to discuss the potential impact of cheating on your divorce case.
Your attorney will protect your rights and interests throughout your divorce case to ensure that you get the most favorable outcome possible, even if your spouse blames you for the breakdown of the marriage.
Getting the Experienced Advocacy You Need
If you are considering filing for divorce after your spouse cheated on you or you are being accused of unfaithfulness, you might want to get legal counsel from an experienced attorney in Bingham Farms, Michigan, to discuss how cheating might affect your divorce case. Steven L. Rotenberg can explain the possible impact of adultery on various aspects of your divorce, including alimony and division of assets. Steven L. Rotenberg, PLLC also serves clients in Monroe, Pontiac, and Mount Clemens.