Hinsdale Family Law AttorneyInfidelity during a marriage is more common than many people realize. One study showed that between 20 and 25 percent of men cheat on their spouses and 10 to 15 percent of women cheat on their spouses. If your marriage is ending and you or your spouse were involved in an extramarital affair, you may have questions about how the affair will impact your divorce. It is important to keep in mind that divorce laws vary from state to state. The following information applies to divorce in the state of Illinois.

Will I Be Considered At Fault for the Divorce if I Had an Affair?

Illinois no longer has any fault-based grounds for divorce. There is only one reason that Illinois courts award a divorce: irreconcilable differences. When a spouse petitions the court for a divorce, he or she will not need to disclose any extramarital affairs. Nobody is assigned fault for the breakdown of a marriage, the spouses simply assert that there are too many differences in their marriage to be overcome and that it would be better to dissolve the marriage.

Will an Adulterous Spouse Be at a Disadvantage During Divorce?

Having an affair does not necessarily mean that you will be at a disadvantage during divorce. Unlike many other states, Illinois does not take marital misconduct into account when making decisions about the outcome of the divorce. It is certainly possible that an affair breaks down the trust in a marriage and makes negotiating a divorce settlement more difficult, but there are no specific legal consequences for a spouse who commits adultery.

How Does an Extramarital Affair Impact Property Division During Divorce?

Illinois law states that property division determinations will be made without regard to marital misconduct. However, there is a major exception to this. If a spouse spent a significant amount of marital funds or used marital property during the affair, this may be considered dissipation of assets. If a spouse is found to have dissipated assets, he or she may be required to reimburse the marital estate for the wasted assets.

How Does Infidelity Affect Child Custody?

In most cases, infidelity during the marriage does not influence child custody decisions. Illinois courts make decisions about the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time based on what is in the child’s best interests. Typically, a spouse cheating on the other spouse does not directly impact the children. However, there may be special circumstances in which an affair could influence a court’s decision regarding child custody matters. For example, if a spouse moves in with an affair partner who has a conviction for child abuse, this could certainly impact the court’s decision regarding parental responsibilities and parenting time.

Does a Spouse Receive Alimony If He or She Was Cheated on?

Spousal maintenance is awarded without regard to marital misconduct in Illinois. Spouses may negotiate a spousal maintenance settlement, or the court may award spousal maintenance. Typically, the only time an Illinois court will award spousal maintenance is if there is a significant discrepancy between the spouses’ financial situations. The court will consider each spouse’s income, assets, earning capacity, employability, and contribution to the marriage, as well as the duration of the marriage and the standard of living established during the marriage when determining whether spousal maintenance or alimony is appropriate.

Contact Our Hinsdale Divorce Lawyers

If you are getting divorced because you or your spouse had an affair, our DuPage County divorce attorneys can provide legal support and guidance throughout your divorce. Call 630-920-8855 to set up a free initial consultation to learn more.