How Will Infidelity Affect My Divorce Case?
March 11, 2022
A divorce is difficult under any circumstances. While there is any number of reasons for the breakdown of the marriage, one of the more common reasons is infidelity. Adultery can be considered legal grounds for divorce and may significantly affect various aspects of a divorce in Georgia.
At E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm LLC, Attorney Banks-Ware can advise clients on how to prepare for a divorce and help them make intelligent decisions. Noreen Banks-Ware is committed to providing outstanding legal services and knowledgeable guidance to clients in divorce matters, including what to do if your spouse committed adultery. E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm proudly serves clients in Lithonia, Georgia, as well as the surrounding areas of Metro Atlanta, including Decatur, Conyers, Covington, McDonough, and Lawrenceville.
Georgia Divorce Law: Who is At Fault?
When it comes to the law in Georgia in regards to divorce, “no-fault” is an allowable grounds for divorce. This means that if a couple seeks a divorce, it is not necessary for either party to allege any wrongdoing on the part of the other spouse. Instead, one must simply show the court the marriage is broken beyond repair. Thus, a party could allege that adultery damaged the marriage beyond repair.
Couples also have the option of filing for a “fault" divorce. A fault divorce means that a spouse's marital misconduct caused the breakup, and the filing spouse must prove the allegations before the court will grant the divorce.
How Will Adultery Factor Into a Divorce?
While adultery is sometimes complex to prove, if it is, it is incredibly impactful on the court’s ruling. If infidelity is proven, it can impact the determination of alimony and the division of marital assets.
In Georgia, alimony is financial support paid from one spouse to the other. Alimony can be temporary, lasting for a specific period of time, or permanent, lasting until the supported spouse remarries or dies.
In order for a spouse to receive alimony, they must prove that they need financial support, as well as show that the other party has the financial means to pay it. When determining alimony, courts will generally consider the following factors:
the spouse's standard of living during the marriage
the length of the marriage
the age and physical condition of each spouse
each spouse's financial resources
each spouse's earning capacity
each spouse's contributions to the marriage, financial and otherwise
any other factors, like other finances available to each spouse, or debts
In terms of alimony and adultery, courts will typically bar the adulterous spouse from receiving alimony payments.
Distribution of Assets
Georgia is an “equitable distribution” state, meaning that dividing the marital assets will be fair, but not necessarily equal. When it comes to how the court will rule, it may be highly dependent on which party was unfaithful. A judge may award a larger portion of the marital assets to the spouse who didn’t cheat, especially when the guilty spouse spent marital funds during the course of the affair. This can include the costs of trips, hotel rooms, gifts, and more.
Infidelity can also weigh on other common divorce issues, like child custody. When deciding custody, courts may consider any relevant factor in determining the best interests of the children involved. Thus, infidelity may be considered a relevant factor in determining this issue as well.
How E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm LLC Can Help
Proving and winning an infidelity case in a divorce court is a complex undertaking. With so much at stake, a knowledgeable divorce attorney is a must. E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm LLC offers skilled, compassionate representation for clients in Lithonia, Georgia, and the surrounding areas. Attorney Noreen Banks-Ware has the experience and diligence to help you navigate this difficult time for you and your loved ones. Set up an initial one-on-one consultation today.