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Can I Get a Divorce If My Spouse Has Committed Adultery?

If your spouse commits adultery, that can seem like a valid reason to file for divorce. Does the state agree with you though? Is adultery grounds for divorce? Our Morris County, NJ divorce lawyers can answer those questions and many more.

Is Adultery Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey?

When you get divorced in New Jersey, you need to have “grounds” for it. If you want to go for a fault divorce, you can make your partner’s adultery the grounds for it. You can also decide to go with a no-fault divorce. The adultery would be unlikely to factor into the proceedings that way. Which is a better option for you can depend on a few things, so you may want to talk to our legal team and find out more about your potential paths forward.

Do I Have to Prove My Spouse’s Adultery?

If you want to pursue a divorce on fault-based grounds, you do have to prove that your spouse committed adultery. Your own testimony that they cheated would not be enough.

You do not need pictures of them in the act or anything like that, but some kind of evidence is required. If you can find evidence of hotel reservations that your spouse made with someone who was not you, that can help. Going into texts and emails to find incriminating evidence can be another path. If you really want to, you can also hire a private investigator to see if they can dig anything up. This kind of action is rarely necessary though.

Should I File for a Fault-Based Divorce?

You can focus on your spouse’s adultery and file for a fault-based divorce, but it is not your only option. You can also decide to opt for a no-fault divorce. If you do not feel like dredging up all of these bad feelings from your marriage and your spouse’s actions, this might be a good choice for you.

Can My Spouse Be Forced to Pay More Alimony or Child Support Due to Their Adultery?

Alimony and child support are calculated based on the needs of you and your child. Something like one partner’s infidelity is rarely a factor. However, it is important to note that your spouse’s adultery could affect the property distribution process if they spent an exorbitant amount of money on the person they were involved with. Their actions could be seen as a “dissipation of assets” and that could affect their share of the marital assets.

Can Adultery Affect Child Custody and Visitation?

When it comes to child custody and visitation schedules, the primary focus is the best interest of the child. Even if your spouse does something to hurt you, that does not necessarily mean that they are a bad parent to your children. Their adultery is unlikely to affect child custody arrangements.

Contact Our Law Firm

If you are considering filing for divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark and set up a consultation. We can tell you more about the divorce process and what our experienced attorneys can do to help you fight for the best possible outcome.