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Can Adultery Impact My New Jersey Divorce?

Everyone makes mistakes in life. Sometimes, those mistakes can come with serious consequences, such as the end of a marriage. If a spouse commits adultery, it can impact their life and their spouse’s life in many ways. When this happens, spouses often wonder if this can affect their divorce proceedings in any way. Continue reading and contact an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney to learn more. 

What are Grounds for Divorce?

When filing for divorce in New Jersey, spouses must either cite “fault” or “no-fault” grounds. No-fault grounds can be a result of physical separation for 18 or more consecutive months or irreconcilable differences for at least one year. Fault grounds are filed as a result of a spouse’s misconduct, such as adultery. 

Do I Have to Cite Fault Grounds if My Spouse Committed Adultery?

Spouses entering a divorce due to adultery do not have to file fault grounds. In many cases, a couple may realize their marriage is ending and choose to cite no-fault grounds simply to avoid a legal battle of proving fault. Other times, spouses may choose to participate in alternative divorce methods, such as mediation, arbitration, or collaborative divorce. This allows them to divorce with privacy instead of citing fault grounds to become public record. 

Can Adultery Impact Divorce Proceedings?

No divorce is exactly the same as another. Each outcome can be different than one before it due to the nature, duration, and details of marital misconduct. Here are a few ways adultery may impact divorce settlement decisions:

  • Division of Assets: When dealing with the equitable distribution of marital property, there is no impact of fault vs. no-fault divorce.
  • Alimony and spousal support: A spouse who committed adultery may be awarded less alimony or required to pay a greater amount in alimony. 
  • Child custody: Marital misconduct may not have an impact on this matter unless the misconduct was potentially harmful to the child, then it may be considered. 
  • Child support: The most common way for adultery to be a factor is through a trickle down effect after receiving less parenting time as per the child custody agreement.

Contact our Firm

If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through a divorce matter, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.