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Can Adultery Affect My Divorce?

Divorce can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Individuals going through a divorce may have questions about aspects that will impact divorce proceedings. In some cases, couples may divorce due to committing adultery that occurred during the relationship. Couples often question what will happen as a result of the adultery for both spouses. Many individuals believe that if their spouse has committed adultery, they are entitled to certain compensation during a divorce. For Illinois divorces, this is not always the case. At WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC, we’re here to explain how adultery can affect divorce and what this means for each spouse. 

Can Adultery Be Grounds for Divorce in Illinois?

Though adultery may be the reason that a couple seeks a divorce, Illinois will not specify adultery as the grounds for divorce. Illinois only recognizes irreconcilable differences as grounds for divorce, meaning that the spouses can’t get along, and this factor has led to divorce. Illinois is considered a no-fault state, meaning that neither spouse needs to prove that the other is at fault for the marriage’s end, even if adultery occurred. If the couple was attempting to divorce in a fault state, adultery could be used as grounds for divorce. In some cases, a no-fault state can prove beneficial for spouses requesting a divorce, as an individual doesn’t need to justify why the adultery was committed. 

Will Adultery Affect the Compensation I Receive?

Oftentimes, individuals may try to use their spouse’s adultery as a way to ensure they receive the compensation they desire. Since Illinois is a no-fault state, individuals who’ve committed adultery will not be penalized for doing so. Thus, adultery will not affect decisions such as property distribution, child custody arrangements, or financial settlements. The only time that adultery could factor into the financial aspect of a case is when marital monies are used for non-marital purposes, such as travel or gifts for the person with whom your spouse committed adultery.  This is called dissipation and an experienced Chicago divorce attorney can walk you through your rights in these circumstances.  Otherwise, Illinois will use its specific guidelines to determine the proper way to divide the couple’s marital property. For example, Illinois is considered an equitable distribution state, meaning that property will be divided in a way that’s fair to both parties, which doesn’t necessarily mean this will be equal. The court will examine how the property was acquired and the financial contributions of each spouse when determining proper division. Outside of the possibility of dissipation, adultery will not be considered as a factor in the divorce process, and spouses should not expect to be penalized for this. However, if it’s determined that a spouse inappropriately spent martial funds in association with the affair, this could affect how the court distributes property, and a spouse may be penalized for using money without their spouse’s knowledge. However, if an individual has solely committed adultery, this can’t be used against them in court.

Many individuals have concerns about how adultery will affect child custody arrangements. While adultery is not grounds for how child custody is determined, other factors associated with adultery may impact the divorce.

Contact Our Team Today 

If you have questions about how adultery can impact an Illinois divorce, contact our team today. We’re happy to assist with all of your legal needs and support you during this process. 

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