What happens if you, or your spouse, have chosen to end your marriage as a result of infidelity? Not only will there be emotional consequences but there can also be some serious legal implications. Unfortunately, cheating is quite common. According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, couples’ therapists report that 50% of their caseload is in therapy due to infidelity. It is important to understand your options in a situation like this and discuss them with a family law attorney.
What Claims Do You Have?
In many states, adultery plays a role in determining alimony or spousal support. A spouse’s infidelity can deny their claim for alimony that they may have otherwise gotten. You will need some type of proof to support the claim. Other states do not consider adultery as consideration. Laws vary from state to state, so it is important to know what the laws in your state say about cheating and your rights.
What Types of Evidence Should You Have?
The definition of cheating is a gray area because it can be different from couple to couple. In many states, you will have to prove that there was more than just a wandering eye or a relationship that is more than friendship. In fact, you will most likely need evidence of intercourse to claim cheating legally. It could be pictures, receipts, witnesses, etc. Addressing the situation with your spouse without the proper evidence could end up being more disastrous than productive.
Can You Sue?
Depending on the state you live in, there may be claims you can file against your spouse’s paramour which is the person with whom your spouse has cheated. For example, alienation of affection is a claim for someone who believes they have been deserted or left by their spouse as the result of a third party. But this is only available in a handful of states. To start this process, you must prove that genuine love and affection existed between you and your spouse prior to your separation or divorce and that a third party was a controlling cause of your spouse’s alienation from your relationship.
Having a cheating spouse is a terrible and gut-wrenching feeling. There are some legal actions you can take with the help of a family law attorney. For more information on the steps to take, contact us today.