Any time a couple is facing divorce, it can be difficult and emotional. Unfortunately, friends and family members may have their own theories and speculations about why the couple is seeking to legally dissolve their marriage.
Regardless of speculation, there are still many who don’t fully understand if factors such as infidelity and cheating can affect a divorce or issues related to children, custody and support.
The fact is, adultery may or may not affect a divorce. This has to be determined on a case by case basis. In the state of Louisiana, regardless of if a couple has a traditional or covenant marriage, they can site “adultery” as the official cause of divorce, just like they could “domestic violence” or “cruelty”. This creates the foundation that is used to build a divorce case, regardless of what direction it ultimately goes in.
What is Adultery?
Adultery is defined as any type of sexual act, outside or inside of heterosexual intercourse. As a result, cheating on a spouse doesn’t just mean intercourse.
There are three ways that using “adultery” as the cause of a divorce may influence divorce proceedings. However, since each case is different and will come with its own set of circumstances, it is best to consult with a family law attorney in Louisiana to know if adultery or cheating can impact your unique situation.
You Can Often Speed Up the Proceedings
According to Louisiana law, it is required that a couple separate for one year before being considered legally divorced if they have minor children. However, when adultery is the reason for a divorce, they can often have the proceedings completed faster. An attorney can let you know if this is possible for your case.
Adultery Can affect Alimony and Property Division
There are some extramarital affairs that may not impact the divorce. However, there are other situations when it can. If the spouse that is cheating is determined to be at-fault for the divorce, then they may not be able to receive spousal support. According to Civil Code art. 112 in Louisiana, the spouse has to be completely “free from fault” to be awarded spousal support.
Lack of Discretion May Affect Child Custody
If the parent having an affair flaunts their extramarital relationship in front of the child, or allows partners or strangers around the child, it could be considered a serious issue during a child custody proceeding. However, this is another situation that has to be evaluated on a individual basis.
Cases of adultery can be complex and it is best to utilize the services of a family attorney in Louisiana to determine how it may or may not affect your particular situation. In many cases, if you are the victimized partner, you may be able to move your divorce case through the court system faster and see other effects.