How Infidelity Can Affect Your Divorce Case
June 28, 2022
Infidelity is one of the major reasons for marital breakdowns and divorce in Minnesota and across the United States. Finding out that your beloved spouse is unfaithful can be a difficult one to deal with. If this ultimately leads to a divorce, the faithful spouse may want to know the effect of adultery on the terms of the marital dissolution. An experienced Minnesota family law attorney can enlighten you about how infidelity affects the outcome of your divorce case and other marital dissolution issues.
At Michael Fink Law, PLLC, I'm committed to offering knowledgeable legal guidance and compassionate advocacy to clients in family law and divorce-related matters. I'm available to discuss your unique circumstances and help you understand the impact of cheating on various divorce matters, including property division, spousal support, child custody, and support. My firm proudly serves clients across Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Edina, St. Paul, and St. Louis Park, Minnesota.
Infidelity and Divorce in Minnesota
Minnesota is a "no-fault" divorce state. This means that, when seeking a divorce, you do not need to prove that your soon-to-be ex-spouse's misconduct or bad behavior led to the marital breakdown. You only need to state that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, and there is no reasonable chance of reconciliation.
Although, marital infidelity is not an acceptable ground for divorce in Minnesota. Regardless, the family court may have to take marital misconduct into consideration, under certain conditions, when determining property division, alimony, child custody, or other divorce-related matters.
Ways that Adultery Might Factor in
As earlier mentioned, marital misconduct isn't one of the grounds for divorce in Minnesota. Hence, in a typical divorce situation, infidelity may not have an effect on vital divorce matters, including equitable asset division, spousal maintenance, child custody, or child support, unless in any of the following situations:
Spousal Maintenance: According to Minnesota law, judges are required to make spousal support decisions without considering marital misconduct. Therefore, adultery will not affect the amount and duration of alimony. Alimony will only be awarded if the requesting spouse needs financial support and the other spouse can pay.
Assets Division: In addition, adultery can have an effect on asset division in a divorce if the faithful spouse can show that the adulterer wasted a considerable amount of the couple's financial resources on buying expensive items, jewelry, funding trips, and vacations for their secret lover or mistress.
Child Custody/Support: Generally, infidelity doesn't affect child custody or support in Minnesota. Child custody will only be awarded based on the child's best interests. However, if a parent's actions were so gross that they could possibly jeopardize the best interests of the child, the family court may deny or restrict custody or parenting time in order to protect the child.
Every divorce case is unique. A knowledgeable attorney can guide you through every legal step involved in your divorce proceedings and work diligently to protect your best interests, as well as your family's future.
Living with Someone Else While Divorce Is Pending
When awarding spousal maintenance in Minnesota, the court will not consider cohabitation – living with another person – while the divorce is still pending. Rather, the family court will award alimony based on different factors such as the requesting spouse's needs, financial resources, age, health condition, the paying spouse's ability to pay support, the marital standard of living, and other factors.
However, the paying spouse may be able to adjust the existing spousal maintenance agreement – after 12 months – if the supported spouse is living with a new partner. Depending on the circumstances, cohabitation may result in alimony being modified or terminated. An experienced spousal maintenance attorney can evaluate your unique circumstances and help you navigate crucial decisions.
Skilled Legal Counsel
Filing for divorce in Minnesota usually involves a lot of complex processes. Especially when your estranged spouse was having extra-marital affairs, negotiating a divorce settlement, dividing marital property, establishing alimony, child custody, and support agreements with them can be challenging. Therefore, when considering a divorce with infidelity involved, consulting with a skilled family law attorney is paramount for detailed guidance and to protect your best interests.
At Michael Fink Law, PLLC, I have the diligence and knowledge to advise and guide individuals and families in complicated divorce cases involving infidelity. As your attorney, I can explore your available divorce options and determine what is right for your unique circumstances. Also, I will fight compassionately to protect your best interests, work meticulously with all parties involved to negotiate a fair divorce settlement, and ensure that you come out financially stable.
Contact my firm – Michael Fink Law, PLLC – today to schedule a simple consultation with a trusted divorce attorney. I can offer you the personalized legal guidance, support, and skilled advocacy you need in your divorce case. My firm proudly serves clients across Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Edina, St. Paul, and St. Louis Park, Minnesota.