Does It Matter in Court That My Spouse Had an Affair Before Divorce?

If you are currently getting divorced, and your spouse’s affair is partially or fully responsible for why you filed for divorce, it may seem like a logical question to ask. We brought our best Salt Lake City divorce attorney on board to answer this question.

Your spouse may cheat again

If your spouse cheated on you during your marriage, he or she will most likely attempt to cheat in court. For instance, your spouse may simply lie in court and say that he/she never had an affair during the marriage. In fact, your spouse can say pretty much anything, and this may influence the court’s decision.

This is why it is highly advised to be legally represented by a Salt Lake City divorce lawyer in order to prevent the court from ruling in favor of your cheating or lying spouse when it comes to determining alimony, child support, and division of property.

Do you have your own share of martial fault?

Even if your spouse cheated on you behind your back during the marriage, your accusations of extramarital affair may seem irrelevant or unimportant if your spouse has something against you. For example, your spouse may argue that you committed your fair share of marital fault by physically or sexually assaulting her/him, being a drug addict or having drinking problems, being extremely violent during the marriage, and other.

More often than not, cheating spouses refuse to admit that they had an affair, as admitting to extramarital relationships may negatively affect their position in court when it comes to seeking alimony, child custody, child support, dividing property, and other elements of a divorce in Utah.

It is your burden to prove an affair

Our Salt Lake City divorce attorney from the Ault Legal warns that once cheating accusations have been made in court, it will become your burden to prove it, not your spouse’s burden to disprove. And this is a vital factor that must be taken into account, as your failure to prove your wife or husband’s affair may deem your accusations to be “false.” And Utah family courts have no tolerance for “false” accusations in divorces. Making false accusations can negatively affect the outcome of your divorce.

Still, beware of false stories about you

Once we have mentioned above, once a cheater, always a cheater. If your spouse had no problem cheating on you during your marriage, he or she will most likely not think twice before cheating in court against you. This means: expect false stories or accusations made against you. In fact, your spouse’s attorney will most likely be onboard to destroy you in court. This is why you must have a lawyer on your side.

How an affair affects divorce proceedings

You are probably wondering how an affair would affect your divorce proceedings. We asked our Salt Lake City divorce lawyer from the Ault Legal to outline what being unfaithful could mean for various areas of your divorce:

Alimony: a spouse’s misconduct, including cheating, may be taken into account when deciding what amount of alimony to award, and whether to award alimony at all. It is not uncommon for courts in Salt Lake City and elsewhere in Utah to ban cheating spouses from receiving alimony.

Division of property: an affair can have a major effect on property division in a divorce. However, while it is not common for courts to make property division decisions based solely on a spouse’s misconduct, other factors may get involved. When it comes to dividing property between two divorcing parties, judges have no tolerance for dissipation of marital assets, which is not uncommon for affairs. For example, a husband may pay an enormous amount of money to spend luxury vacations with his mistress, while a wife may spend tons of money to buy expensive clothes and jewelry that she wears only for her lover.

Child custody: an affair can impact the court’s decision on child custody only if the unfaithful spouse’s affair had some sort of effect on the child. Let’s not forget that family courts in Utah prioritize the best interests of the child. Therefore, if his/her parent’s extramarital affair caused the child stress or anxiety, the court may rule in favor of the non-cheating spouse.

Each case is unique, which is why it is recommended to speak with an experienced divorce attorney about your particular case. Get a free consultation by calling the Ault Legal today. Call our offices at 801-539-9000 or complete this contact form.