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How Does Infidelity Affect Divorce?

Towson Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Provide Experienced Counsel to Those Seeking a Divorce

Regarding divorce, Maryland allows couples to end their marriage on certain grounds defined by state law (fault-based). Alternatively, they may divorce without stating a specific reason (no fault) and do so simply because they no longer want to be married. Adultery is one of the grounds for a fault-based divorce in Maryland. However, whether and how infidelity affects a divorce will depend on the conduct of the unfaithful spouse.  

Infidelity is a common reason for divorce. You might expect that if your spouse was unfaithful to you, the court might be harder on them in the divorce process. The reality is that the court is not there to make a moral judgment but a legal one. The court presides over the division of marital assets and other issues such as child custody. Under certain circumstances, infidelity may affect one or both of these parts of the divorce process.

Infidelity and Marital Assets

If the unfaithful spouse spent lavishly on the person they had an affair with, for example – extravagant vacations, expensive dinners, and luxury gifts, then the court may order them to pay back part of the joint assets they used while cheating. These assets belonged to the marital estate and must be divided fairly.

Infidelity and Child Custody

In certain rare cases, infidelity can affect the outcome of child custody during a divorce. If the judge feels that the infidelity endangered the welfare of a child, then the cheating partner may not be awarded custody of that child. Examples include having an affair with someone engaged in criminal activity or having an affair with an authority figure in the child’s life, such as their teacher, and bringing the child along to the location where the affair took place or otherwise exposing the child to mental or physical harm through the infidelity.

Prenuptial Agreements

This document is legally binding during divorce if there is a signed prenuptial agreement with an infidelity clause. The penalties for infidelity should be outlined in the agreement and usually limit the cheating spouse’s financial rights.

Does Infidelity Affect Alimony Awards?

If your spouse cheated on you, then it may feel like there should be some financial repercussions. The court considers many factors when determining the appropriate amount of alimony (spousal support), but infidelity is not one of them.

Should I File for a Fault-Based or No-Fault Divorce?

The end of a marriage is possibly one of the most stressful times a person can experience. Consult a lawyer if you are considering a divorce but are unsure what grounds to file.

Towson Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Provide Experienced Counsel to Those Seeking a Divorce

You can turn to the compassionate Towson divorce lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC for answers to all your questions about the divorce process. Call us at 443-589-0150 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we serve clients in Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Columbia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.

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