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How Does Cheating Influence a Divorce in Illinois?

Posted on in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerStudies show that approximately 16 percent of married people cheat on their spouse at least once in their lives. Of course, what constitutes “cheating” is up to the individuals involved in the marriage. Whether your relationship was affected by a one-time instance of sexual infidelity or a long-term affair, there is no doubt that cheating can dramatically impact a marriage. But how does infidelity affect divorce? Are spouses entitled to a greater share of marital property or higher spousal support payments if their spouse cheated? Does infidelity impact child custody determinations? Can you list “adultery” as the grounds for your divorce?

Adultery in Illinois Divorce Cases

The grounds, or legal justifications, for divorce vary from state to state. Presently, Illinois is a no-fault divorce state. This means that you will not list adultery or other fault-based grounds as the reason for your divorce. The only reason you will have available is “irreconcilable differences.” Infidelity and other forms of marital misconduct do not typically impact the division of assets and debts, spousal maintenance, or child custody decisions in Illinois divorce cases. However, there are ways that adultery or an affair partner can influence divorce determinations.

Dissipation of Assets

Dissipation of assets occurs when a spouse uses or destroys money or property for a purpose not related to the marriage after the relationship has experienced an irreparable breakdown. One of the most classic examples of dissipation occurs when a spouse uses marital or non-marital property to fund an affair. For example, consider a marriage in which both spouses are unhappy. The spouses no longer share a bed or share their lives with each other. The wife has an affair. She uses $10,000 worth of savings to go on a vacation with her secret boyfriend. Through a dissipation of assets claim during the property division process, the woman’s husband may be able to recover the funds that were spent during the extramarital affair.

A Spouse’s New Partner May Influence Child Custody

In the vast majority of cases, marital infidelity does not influence child custody determinations in Illinois. After all, an individual is still capable of being a good parent even if they committed adultery. However, a new boyfriend or girlfriend may influence child custody decisions if the new partner poses a risk to the child. For example, if a mother moves in with a registered sex offender, the court is likely to consider this during a child custody proceeding.

Contact a Naperville Divorce Lawyer

If you or your spouse had an affair, it is important to consider how this may impact your divorce case. For help, contact the skilled DuPage County divorce attorneys at Pesce Law Group, P.C.. Call 630-352-2240 for a free, confidential consultation.



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