If your spouse cheated, their unfaithfulness is legal grounds to divorce. However, you must have proof your spouse had intercourse with someone else.
If you are considering using adultery as legal grounds for divorce in Marietta, consult our local divorce attorneys. We can go over the pros and cons of using fault-based grounds when seeking a divorce. Once you have all the information you can decide whether pursuing a divorce based on adultery is the best option for you.
The Official Code of Georgia § 19-5-3 lists adultery as one of the fault-based grounds you could cite as your reason for a divorce in Marietta. Like all fault-based grounds, you must be able to prove it. To get a divorce on the basis of adultery you must provide evidence that your spouse had sexual intercourse with someone else. Evidence that they were involved in another relationship is insufficient; you must be able to prove your spouse had a sexual relationship with another person during the course of your marriage.
You also must prove that adultery ended your marriage. If you and your spouse were already living separately or negotiating a separation agreement when the adultery was discovered, the affair was not the reason you and your spouse decided to divorce.
Finally, a court will not grant a divorce due to adultery if there is evidence the innocent spouse accepted or forgave the adultery. If you and your spouse continued to live together or have sexual relations after the adultery was known, a court might find there was “absolution or condonement.” If so, adultery is not a legal ground for divorce in your case.
Adultery can have a significant impact on the financial aspects of a divorce. However, the law on this issue can be complicated. Getting advice from a knowledgeable Marietta attorney is critical, so that you know how adultery might affect your case.
When it is proved that one spouse committed adultery and the adultery is the reason the couple decided to divorce, the adulterous spouse cannot collect alimony. However, even if a spouse acknowledges adultery, if they can prove either that the other spouse offered absolution or condonement or that the adultery was not the cause of the breakup, the adulterous spouse could get alimony.
Cheating can also have an impact on the division of marital property. The judge must divide marital property equitably, which means the division must be fair considering the circumstances. If one spouse cheated, especially if they used marital assets to pay for the affair, a judge might believe it is fair to award more of the marital property to the innocent spouse.
When a judge makes decisions about child custody, their primary concern is the children’s best interests. When a parent has committed adultery, it could impact the way the judge perceives that parent’s influence on the child.
That is not to say that a parent who committed adultery would be deprived of custody. Instead, the court would consider all the circumstances and the way adultery affected the children, if it impacted them at all. If the children are young and unaware of the situation, adultery might have no bearing. On the other hand, if the children were aware of the affair and are old enough to understand, the judge might decide living with the innocent parent best supports the children’s wellbeing.
Speak candidly with a Marietta attorney if you are a parent and adultery was an issue in your marriage. Together, we can develop a sound strategy to meet your child custody goals, even if you were the spouse who strayed.
It can be devastating when you know your spouse was unfaithful. The law allows you to divorce based on adultery if you can prove it ended your marriage.
There are advantages and disadvantages to using adultery as the legal grounds for divorce in Marietta. Strategize with a local divorce attorney before deciding how to proceed. Call today.