Divorce and Infidelity – How Does Infidelity Impact Divorce
Infidelity in marriage is a common cause for divorce in this country. Today between 20-40% of marriages end due to some form of infidelity. There are a number of reasons why experts believe these numbers are so high. One of which being that women have developed their own careers and, in many cases, no longer rely on their husbands solely for financial support. If they are not happy in their marriage, they are more likely than men to seek emotional affairs. When men are unhappy, they tend to seek out physical affairs to boost their esteem and get the attention that they are not getting at home. No matter what type of cheating occurs, however, the common thread in both is deception, which erodes trust and can make the divorce process more difficult because of that.
Adultery as Fault Grounds for Divorce
In Massachusetts a spouse has the option of filing a complaint for divorce under one of the fault grounds, which includes adultery, or as a no-fault divorce, which only requires a showing that your marriage is irretrievably broken and can be established through your statements to that effect. The filing of a divorce under the fault grounds of adultery, however, requires that the person your spouse was having an extramarital affair with is named on the initial complaint and served with the complaint. It also requires that you prove that your spouse was having an extramarital affair. Even in the case of infidelity most divorce lawyers will counsel their clients to file under the divorce as a no fault divorce because there is little to be gained by filing under the grounds of adultery.
How the Massachusetts Probate and Family Courts View Infidelity in a Divorce
While adultery is still technically a crime in Massachusetts the Probate and Family Courts only really consider the issue of adultery in terms of the financial ramifications of such actions. The court is most concerned with the amount of marital funds your spouse spent on the person with him they were cheating. If your spouse spent money on things like gifts, meals and entertainment, vacations or other items then there is a good chance that money will have to be refunded to the marital estate when dividing marital assets.
If you believe your spouse has been unfaithful and has used marital funds in pursuit of an extramarital affair and you are a high-net-worth individual, we can help you untangle the complexities that are present in short and long term marriages and high-net-worth divorces and help you recover any marital funds that were used outside of your marriage. Contact Mansur Law Group today at (978) 341-5040.