How Adultery Will Impact A Divorce Case

For some couples, adultery is the reason they file for divorce. For others, infidelity occurs during the divorce proceedings while the couple is still legally married. How adultery will impact a divorce case can vary from state to state and case to case.  

When The Affairs Costs Money

In the event that a spouse spends a large amount of money on the person they are having an affair with, the betrayed spouse could be due compensation. The amount of money spent and how (or on whom) it was spent will need to be definitively proven.

What if you cannot definitively prove the monetary cost of the affair? It is possible to build a case around reasonable doubt, but only a lawyer will know whether such a case can be won.

When The Affair Impacts Children

Regardless of the state you live in, adultery has little effect on child custody. As long as the parent is a good parent, the fact that he or she cheated on their spouse has little impact on the custody side of a divorce case.   

What if the affair negatively impacts the child? If the child was exposed to the sexual nature of the infidelity, it could be pleaded that the offending parent is unfit and knowingly traumatized their child by having sex in front of or nearby the child.

Divorce Settlements and Infidelity

In a handful of states, fault is a factor in divorce proceedings. If the grounds for divorce are adultery, then the spouse at fault for the infidelity could land on the losing end of the divorce case. In such cases, settlements and division of assets can go in favor of the spouse who remained faithful.  

No Fault Divorce Cases

In most of the United States, divorce cases do not pinpoint fault, and it is irrelevant in a divorce case. If adultery is involved and the act caused the innocent spouse or their child to experience unnecessary physical, emotional, or financial burden, there may be grounds for the infidelity to impact the settlement or division of assets.

Seeking Proper Legal Aid

Divorce is a messy business. It is best navigated by legal professionals who are intimately familiar with local and state laws. While you can opt to represent yourself during a divorce case, it is best to hire an experienced attorney (such as one from

The act of adultery does not have black and white legal ramifications on divorce cases. But it can sometimes impact the negotiations of settlements, especially when the cheating spouse feels guilt in the wake of their actions.