Many people are shocked to learn that infidelity has little impact on how assets are divided and/or how parenting arrangements are allocated in a divorce. Do cheaters have to pay the price?
Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that neither party needs to alleged that the other party is at fault in order to obtain a divorce. However, the filing party must still assert that irreconcilable differences have cause the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Anything can cause the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, and none of the details of why the marriage fell apart need to be included in the divorce petition. Infidelity is just one of those reasons.
The fact that your partner has a relationship outside the marriage will not:
- Preclude him or her from seeking sole allocation of the children or sharing joint allocation.
- Prevent him or her from sharing 50/50 parenting time.
- Prevent him or her from involving the new person in the life of the children, should they choose to do so.
- Result in the non-cheating spouse getting a larger portion of the marital assets simply because of the infidelity.
In fact, the only time infidelity is relevant is when there is dissipation. Dissipation means using marital money for a non-marital purpose. If your spouse is spending money on someone outside of the marriage, buying them gifts, taking them to dinners, or giving them cash, the amounts that you can prove may be added back into the marital estate.
When should you pursue a claim of dissipation? When the amounts claimed exceed the amount of legal expenses you would expend trying to add them back into the marital estate. A few dinners and gifts probably isn’t worth pursuing. If your spouse is renting an apartment, or paying someone else’s bills on a consistent basis, then it might be worth pursuing.
The bottom line is that it makes sense to walk away with money in your pocket rather than paying attorneys to fight over your hurt pride.
If you have a cheating spouse and you want to come out of your divorce with $$, you need an efficient and ethical attorney. Contact Stuart Law Office at 847-447-6133