March 19, 2024

Will Infidelity Impact My Divorce Settlement?

Will Infidelity Impact My Divorce Settlement?





Navigating the treacherous waters of infidelity and its effect on a divorce settlement is emotionally taxing and legally complex. For individuals dealing with the aftermath of an affair, understanding the legal implications and the potential impact on their settlement is crucial. Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group by Haid & Teich, LLP aims to provide professional guidance and support in these sensitive matters so you can move forward into the next phase of your life with confidence and peace of mind.

Legal Perspective on Infidelity

It is important to recognize that the legal systems of various states treat infidelity and its impact on divorce settlements differently. In Illinois, infidelity is not a legal ground for divorce, but it can still be a relevant factor in the proceedings. The state follows a ‘no-fault’ divorce, but the conduct of the parties, including infidelity, can be considered when determining spousal support and the division of marital property.

How Your Settlement Can Be Affected

Emotional Distress and Trauma: When infidelity is a factor, the emotional landscape of a divorce changes and the betrayed spouse may seek a higher settlement to assuage the emotional distress caused by the affair. This can lead to protracted negotiations, as the injured party may be less inclined to settle for a standard equitable division of assets.

Financial Implications: Courts evaluate infidelity within the context of ‘dissipation of marital assets,’ which is defined as the inappropriate use of assets by one spouse for their benefit at the expense of the marriage. This can be in the form of excessive spending on an affair, diverting marital funds, or any other misuse of assets related to infidelity. As a result, the innocent spouse may be entitled to a greater portion of the estate to compensate for the dissipation.

Custody Arrangements: Infidelity can also affect child custody arrangements, especially if it demonstrates a parent’s inability to provide a stable environment for the children. The court’s primary concern is the child’s best interests, and infidelity may be considered when determining parental fitness. However, it is imperative to note that custody decisions are not based solely on infidelity and require a thorough evaluation of the circumstances.

Tips on Navigating Settlement With Infidelity Involved

Seek Legal Counsel Early: The best course of action when infidelity is a factor is to seek professional legal counsel immediately. A skilled attorney can advise you on your legal rights and help you strategize the most appropriate approach for your unique situation.

Strategies for Negotiation: Negotiating in good faith is essential, even when infidelity is involved. A lawyer can help prepare you for these discussions, ensuring your emotions don’t hinder the objective. Understanding what tangible claims you can legally make is an effective way to approach negotiations and settle without resorting to a protracted court battle.

Document Everything: If you suspect infidelity, document any evidence you can gather legally, as this may strengthen your case. Illinois courts do not require direct proof and recognize circumstantial evidence, such as the disposition of the spouse’s behavior and finances.

It’s Time to Move Forward

In conclusion, the issue of infidelity and its impact on a divorce settlement is complex. Whether you are the wronged spouse or the spouse accused, infidelity requires emotional resilience and a clear understanding of your legal rights. Seeking professional help and approaching the situation with a level head will serve you well in achieving a satisfactory settlement.

Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group by Haid & Teich, LLP is a trusted resource for navigating the complex terrain of divorce, including cases involving infidelity. We provide compassionate support and aggressive legal advocacy to secure the best possible outcome for our clients. Please get in touch with us for a consultation, and remember, you are not alone in this process.





schedule an appointment with one of our caring Attorneys