DuPage County Divorce Lawyer for Cases Involving Infidelity

If my spouse cheated does if affect my divorce in Illinois?

Attorneys Helping Divorcing Spouses Address Cheating and Affairs in Wheaton, Naperville, and Warrenville

Getting a divorce is often a difficult situation, but certain issues between spouses can make the divorce process even more emotional, leading to high-conflict situations that may seem impossible to resolve. If a marriage ended because one spouse was unfaithful, this can leave the other spouse feeling betrayed and vindictive, causing negotiations over legal or financial concerns to result in a standstill. In these cases, it is important for spouses to look at the bigger picture and fully understand their rights. By working with a skilled divorce lawyer, individuals can determine whether infidelity will affect the decisions made during the divorce process.

The attorneys of McSwain Nagle & Giese, P.C. have over 65 years of combined legal experience, and we have represented spouses in many different types of high-conflict situations involving infidelity and concerns related to a spouse's extramarital affairs. We will explain how the law applies to your situation, and we will provide the legal help you need to resolve your divorce disputes effectively.

Divorce, Infidelity, and Marital Misconduct

Even if cheating or extramarital affairs led to the breakdown of a relationship, a spouse's conduct may not affect the divorce process or the decisions made while dissolving the marriage. While the state of Illinois previously recognized some fault-based grounds for divorce in the past, the only grounds that are currently recognized are "irreconcilable differences." This means that a divorce petition will not need to specify that infidelity, abandonment, or other issues led to the end of the marriage, and instead, it will simply state that the marriage has broken down irretrievably and that attempts to reconcile would not be beneficial for the family. Even if one spouse blames the other for the failure of the marriage, stating this in a divorce petition will not provide any advantage during the divorce proceedings.

Depending on a couple's circumstances, infidelity may or may not affect other decisions made during divorce. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5), "marital misconduct" is not a factor that should be considered when addressing issues such as eligibility for spousal maintenance or the division of marital assets and debts, and cheating by one spouse will not result in decisions that favor the other spouse in these matters. This can be a difficult pill to swallow for a faithful spouse. However, if the couple had a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that specified that a spouse's infidelity would result in certain decisions being made in the case of divorce, this could result in penalties for a cheating spouse, as long as the agreement is found to be valid and enforceable.

One way that infidelity may affect the divorce process is if it involved the dissipation of marital assets. If a spouse spent marital funds on an affair or gifted marital property to a paramour, they may be required to reimburse the marital estate for any assets that were used for non-marital purposes.

Infidelity could also potentially play a role in the decisions made about child custody. For example, if a parent has shown that he or she is more focused on pursuing an irrsponsible extramarital relationship than on caring for children's needs, he or she may be allocated less decision-making responsibilities or parenting time. A parent may also be concerned about their children's safety because the other parent's new partner has a record of substance abuse or domestic violence. In these situations, the court may decide to place restrictions on the parent's parenting time to ensure that the children's best interests will be protected.

Contact a Glen Ellyn High Conflict Divorce Attorney

While infidelity may not be a major issue in many divorce cases, there are some situations where it could affect the decisions made. At McSwain Nagle & Giese, P.C., we can advise you about whether to raise the issue of your spouse's cheating or affairs during your divorce, and we will address your concerns and make sure your rights and your children's best interests are protected at all times. Contact us today by calling 630-407-1200 to set up your free consultation. We represent divorcing spouses in Warrenville, Glendale Heights, Naperville, Carol Stream, Wheaton, Winfield, Glen Ellyn, DuPage County, Will County, Kendall County, Cook County, and Kane County.

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