If you’re considering cheating, read this first
What is infidelity? Though the answer likely varies from person to person, if you have to ask, “is this cheating?”, it probably is. When cheaters commit infidelity, most of them aren’t thinking about the consequences of their actions. However, many cheaters don’t realize that infidelity can potentially have a big impact on their divorce. If your spouse can prove that you cheated on them, and your infidelity was the sole cause of your divorce, you may be in for a world of legal trouble.
Cheating and Dividing up Assets
Utah is a no fault state. Which means that infidentility cannot necessarily be used when dividing up assets. However, if you can find that your spouse used assets from the marriage on the infidelity, then you are usually entitled to get that money back. In equitable distribution states such as Utah, marital property is divided up according to what the court decides is equitable. Which in Utah, fairly often is equal. However, the court can divide unequally if they feel there are extenuating circumstances that warrant that. For example, if your spouse can show that you used marital assets to finance vacations with your lover, you may be awarded fewer assets proportionate to what you’ve spent on your infidelity. This is especially true if the money you spent on your affair was significant and caused financial strain. The court will need to make specific findings to award an inequitable divide in divorce.
Cheating and Alimony
A lot of things are considered when a court decides who is getting alimony and for how long. Though Utah, is a no fault state there is a caveat in the statute that allows fault to be used (when proven) that can effectuate alimony and the length of alimony given. Concerning infidelity, in order to prove fault in a divorce, a person would need to be able to prove that the affair was sexual in nature, and that the affair was the substantial contributor to the breakdown of the marriage. If a person can prove those things, a court may modify alimony based on the other party’s affair. Though it doesn’t always happen, a fault divorce could negatively impact your alimony payments.
Alienation of Affection
If you’re cheating on your spouse, your spouse may be able to sue your lover for alienation of affection. In order to be successful in this lawsuit, a plaintiff must be able to prove that their spouse had an affair and that the affair was the sole cause of the dissolution of the marriage. Though these types of lawsuits don’t happen often, they can still be devastating when they do occur. In fact, a man in North Carolina just won an alienation of affection suit worth nearly 10 million dollars. Again, though alienation of affection suits aren’t necessarily common, they can happen and they can be financially significant. These are civil lawsuits and therefore, a civil litigation law firm would have to do this suit vs. Coillaw who is a domestic law firm. Our firm can help you through the process of divorce and guide you to the right resources to file an Alienation of Affection lawsuit if you so choose.
If You’re Considering an Affair
If you’re considering having an affair, it may be worth it to consider the emotional impact the affair will have on your spouse when it comes to light—and, in our line of work, affairs almost always come to light. At CoilLaw, we’re divorce lawyers but we aren’t pro-divorce. We want whatever is best for our clients, whether that’s getting divorced or staying married. If you’re considering infidelity, it may be a sign you need to seek marital counseling. However, if you do not believe your marriage can be saved, it may be time to move forward today. At CoilLaw, we help our clients move toward a brighter future. If you’re ready to take the next step in the divorce process, contact us today for a consultation.