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Can Infidelity Influence the Outcome of My Divorce?

 Posted on October 13, 2021 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerStudies show that cheating is quite common – even among married couples. Marital infidelity is regularly named as a top instigator of divorce. If your marriage is ending because of an extramarital affair, you may have questions about how it will impact your divorce case. Is a spouse entitled to more of the marital estate if they were cheated on? Will a spouse be at a disadvantage during divorce if they committed adultery? Divorce laws vary from state to state, especially with regard to marital misconduct. Read on to learn about how infidelity can potentially impact a divorce case in Illinois.

Understanding Illinois Divorce Laws and Fault

Illinois law is constantly being updated. In 2016, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), was modified to eliminate all fault-based grounds for divorce. When you seek a divorce in Illinois, you will only have one “ground” or reason available: Irreconcilable differences. Even if the divorce is a direct result of infidelity or another form of marital misconduct, this will not be stated anywhere in your divorce petition. Furthermore, marital misconduct is not typically a factor considered by courts when determining property division, spousal maintenance, child custody, or other divorce issues. That being said, there is still a chance that an affair could impact the divorce proceedings – especially if a spouse spent considerable money during the affair.

How Can Cheating Impact an Illinois Divorce?

Marriages that end because of infidelity often lead to contentious divorce cases. Understandably, an affair can heighten spouses’ emotions and make it even more difficult for them to cooperate. This makes reaching agreements about divorce issues even harder.

Another way that cheating can impact a divorce case is through dissipation of assets. Dissipation occurs when a spouse uses marital funds or marital property in a way that does not benefit both spouses while the marriage is undergoing a breakdown. Put another way, dissipation occurs when a spouse misuses or wastes marital property during the end of the marriage. One of the most common forms of dissipation is using marital funds to finance an affair. For example, if a spouse buys an affair partner expensive gifts or sells marital property to fund a lavish vacation, that spouse may be guilty of dissipation of assets.

The spouse who was wronged may file a dissipation of assets claim during the divorce and seek reimbursement of the dissipated property.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

If your marriage is ending because of an affair, it is possible that the infidelity will complicate the divorce process considerably. For dependable legal support, contact skilled Warrenville divorce attorney Jessica Sendek. Call Hensley Sendek Law at 630-358-9029 for a free, confidential consultation.




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