Finding out that a spouse has been unfaithful is a difficult thing to learn and handle. The feelings of betrayal of trust and anger can ruin a marriage and cause extreme difficulty for you and your family. Infidelity is often a main cause for why a married couple decides to divorce.
In Missouri, depending on the nature of your divorce your spouse's infidelity may have an impact on your divorce. Whether it can affect it and how it can affect your divorce can be complicated. With the assistance of an experienced Missouri divorce lawyer you can be assured that your divorce is being handled right.
Generally speaking, parties can obtain what is called a "no-fault divorce" in the State of Missouri. This means that neither party has to prove any kind of fault or wrong on the part of the other spouse in order to achieve the desired termination of the marriage.
Both spouses are required to agree that the marriage is "irretrievably broken." If one spouse will not agree to the divorce, you can prove to the court that the marriage is irretrievably broken by proving certain facts.
Impact of Infidelity on Your Divorce
Despite the modern concept of "no-fault divorce," a cheating spouse can affect a divorce proceeding in certain ways.
In the case of a spouse who will not agree to the proposition that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the spouse seeking divorce can prove that the other spouse committed adultery and that it is intolerable to live with the cheating spouse. To prove infidelity you can file evidence such as:
- Phone logs,
- Text Messages,
- Videos, or
- Your own or another's testimony.
If the court finds that it would be intolerable for you to live with the cheating spouse, the divorce can be granted over his or her objections.
Missouri distributes marital assets equitably between the parties to the marriage. However, equitable does not always mean equal, or 50-50. It is a system based on fairness. One of the factors a court can consider is the spouses' behavior in relation to spending during the marriage.
Therefore, while a court may not change the asset allocation for punishment purposes alone, it can consider any money spent on the affair during the course of the marriage. Use of marital assets to further an affair can affect the ultimate distribution of marital assets.
The conduct of the parents can have a significant affect on child custody determinations. This is especially true if the conduct of the unfaithful spouse was known to the children of the marriage. The judge can take that conduct and its effects on the children's best interest into account when making the custody arrangements.
Consult a Missouri Divorce Attorney
The effects of infidelity on a divorce are varied but can have an important impact on your life and your finances. With the help of experienced Cass County attorney Joshua Wilson you can go into the divorce process with knowledge and confidence.
Contact the Joshua Wilson Law Firm today at (816) 331-9968 for a consultation.