Studies show that about 20 percent of men and 13 percent of women admit to cheating on their spouse. If your marriage is ending because of adultery, you may wonder how this can impact your divorce case. You may wonder if a cheating spouse is expected to pay more alimony or will have a harder time getting custody of their kids in the divorce. If you were the innocent spouse, you may wonder if there is a way to hold your spouse accountable for their adulterous actions during the divorce. Read on to learn more about how infidelity can affect divorce in Illinois.
No-Fault Divorce Laws
Illinois is a no-fault divorce state. When an Illinois resident seeks a divorce, the only available “ground” or legal reason for divorce is “irreconcilable differences.” Divorcing spouses do not need to assign blame for their marriage’s breakdown. They just need to affirm that they have experienced irreconcilable differences that cannot be resolved and that continued attempts at reconciliation would not be in the family’s best interests.
Child Support, Spousal Support, and Property Division
Marital infidelity does not impact spousal support or child support obligations. Support is determined by the spouses’ net incomes.
Unlike in some states, Illinois courts also disregard adultery or other types of marital misconduct during property division in a divorce. Marital property is divided equitably according to each spouse’s contribution to the marital estate, the duration of the marriage, each spouse’s non-marital property, agreements between the spouses, and other factors.
Typically, extramarital affairs do not impact property division. However, there is an important exception to this rule. If a spouse spends, uses, or sells marital property in connection with the affair, this may be considered “dissipation of assets.” The spouse who dissipated assets may be required to reimburse the marital estate for the lost funds so the funds can be split equitably between the parties.
Adultery and Child Custody
Many parents wonder if marital infidelity will influence child custody decisions. In Illinois, the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time are usually determined without regard to marital misconduct. The only time that a parent’s affair would affect child custody is if the affair or the new partner negatively affects the child’s wellbeing. If a parent can demonstrate that a new partner poses a threat to the child, the court may prohibit the partner from being present during the parent’s allotted parenting time or take other measures to protect the child’s wellbeing.
Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer
If you are getting divorced because of an affair, contact our St. Charles divorce lawyers for legal support you can rely on. Call [[title]] at [[phone]] and set up a free consultation today.