When you and your spouse got married, your wedding vows likely included the promise to be faithful to each other. Some couples uphold this vow until they day they die. Yet, you might have discovered that your spouse broke it by having an affair or numerous infidelities. Though many marriages can survive adultery, you may feel betrayed and want to file for divorce. As you move forward, it is important to understand whether your spouse’s actions could affect proceedings.
Understanding the impact of adultery
In Arkansas, unlike many states, you must have grounds to file for divorce. Among these grounds is adultery. Yet, certain defenses exist against it, being:
- You and your spouse both committed adultery
- You and your spouse colluded so you could divorce based on grounds of adultery
- You consented to your spouse’s adultery
Absent these defenses, your divorce will likely be granted based on grounds of adultery. Yet, there is no guarantee that your spouse’s actions will affect the outcome of your proceedings. Their adultery is unlikely to change whether they will receive custody of your children. Nor will it impact the child support they receive, or the share of marital property the court awards them.
The one aspect of your divorce that your spouse’s adultery could affect is alimony. Arkansas courts consider many factors when making alimony awards, and marital misconduct may be among these. Yet, for your spouse’s actions to impact the court’s decision, they must have affected your ability to provide them with support. Among the reasons this could happen is if their adultery harmed your health, finances or employment.
As painful as your spouse’s adultery was, it is unlikely to alter the outcome of your divorce. Yet, if their actions affected your well-being and livelihood, you have ways to protect yourself from further harm. You may want to consult a legal professional, who can guide you through the options available to you.