The decision to get an Illinois divorce after discovering a spouse’s infidelity can often be as heartbreaking as finding out about the cheating itself. In addition to the feelings of confusion, hurt, betrayal, and loneliness, you may also begin feeling guilt, sadness, and self-doubt. And of course, infidelity breeds distrust and contempt, making it difficult to work collaboratively during the divorce process.
While all of these things are difficult, the unfortunate truth is that, in Illinois, infidelity generally does not have an impact on divorce proceedings. This can feel extremely unfair to the party who was faithful, especially if that party ends up paying the cheating spouse alimony or child support. But while the divorce may not be affected by the infidelity in and of itself, certain behaviors commonly associated with cheating during a marriage can affect parts of the divorce process, giving the spouse who has been cheated on some relief.
Illinois requires marital assets to be divided fairly, rather than equally. Several factors can affect the division of assets, and in the case of infidelity, one common factor is asset dissipation. Asset dissipation – or wasted marital assets – often occurs when one spouse begins spending money on a new partner. Gifts, dinners, vacations, hotels – these all cost money, and as long as spouses are married, income earned by both partners is considered marital property. If you can gather documentation proving that your spouse spent marital property while courting their new partner, you may be able to successfully prove asset dissipation and receive a greater share of assets in the asset division.
Again, while infidelity itself cannot influence the allocation of parental responsibilities or parenting time, other behaviors that are commonly associated with infidelity can. For example, if your spouse frequently brings new partners home, especially if those partners pose a risk to your children, you can argue to a judge that your spouse’s access to the children needs to be restricted or that he or she may not be allowed to have visitors when the children are present.
Known as spousal maintenance in Illinois, alimony is not available in every divorce and, when it is available, it can only be ordered as long as the receiving spouse is not remarried or cohabiting with a new partner on a conjugal basis. If your spouse has essentially already moved in with someone new, you may be able to avoid alimony payments altogether.
Contact a Wheaton, IL Divorce Lawyer Today
Finding out your spouse has been cheating on you can change your life forever. Whether you need an aggressive, experienced trial attorney or a lawyer with experience in mediation and quick, peaceful resolution, the DuPage County divorce attorneys with The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. are here to help. We will analyze your situation and create a strategy that takes your partner’s infidelity into account so you can minimize the consequences of their dishonest decisions. Call us today at 630-462-9500 to schedule an initial confidential meeting today.