Will Infidelity Affect My Divorce Case?
Nov. 30, 2022
When a spouse commits infidelity, they breach the trust of their partner and permanently change their marriage. The actions of an unfaithful spouse are likely to affect the outcome of the divorce case as well.
If you know there has been infidelity in your marriage and you are seeking a divorce, it is important to be fully informed of all of your rights and options. At Shep Law Group, we are committed to providing excellent legal guidance to each of our clients. We are lifelong Idaho residents who are committed to helping our clients obtain the results they need. Shep Law Group proudly represents clients in Boise, Meridian, Ada County, Canyon County, and throughout the state of Idaho.
Idaho Is a Hybrid-Fault State
In Idaho, the court must approve your request for divorce, and you must provide a legally-acceptable reason for the divorce. That reason could be that neither spouse was at-fault and you are divorcing because of irreconcilable differences. This is known as a no-fault divorce.
However, in Idaho, you may also file for fault-based divorce on the grounds that your spouse’s behavior is the cause of the divorce. Fault-based divorce is more time-consuming and can cost more; however, it may also lead to a better long-term settlement for alimony, child custody, or child support.
Because Idaho law allows individuals to file for either no-fault or fault-based divorce, Idaho is a hybrid fault state.
Ways That Adultery Might Factor In
You may be wondering, how does cheating affect my divorce? And is adultery grounds for divorce?
The answer is yes. Under Idaho law, adultery is an acceptable reason for fault-based divorce. Proving adultery may be difficult. It is helpful to work with an Idaho family law attorney to understand the best course of action.
Is Adultery Illegal in Idaho?
Yes. While many states have changed the law, in Idaho, voluntarily choosing to have sexual intercourse with a married person who is not your legal spouse is a crime. Committing adultery could lead to fines or jail time.
Spousal support, or alimony, is a key part of every divorce case. Under Idaho law, the spouse who committed adultery may have to pay more alimony. On the other hand, if the spouse who is less financially stable was the one who committed adultery, the court may award less alimony because they were at fault. The court will consider multiple factors when determining alimony, and adultery is one of them.
Asset division is another significant part of the divorce process. Similar to alimony, the court may decrease the amount of assets awarded to the spouse who committed adultery, such as the percentage of the sale of the home, bank accounts, vehicles, etc.
Child Support and Child Custody
If the spouse who will be paying child support is the spouse who committed adultery, the court may increase the amount because of that spouse’s behavior. However, it is unlikely that adulterous behavior will impact the court’s decisions on child custody.
Living With Someone Else While the Divorce Is Pending
If a spouse moves in with someone else before the divorce is finalized, that can affect the court’s decision regarding spousal support, dividing assets, child support, and child custody. The court may determine that the spouse who is living with someone else does not need alimony or needs less alimony because they are already sharing expenses with someone else – or it may influence the court to compel that spouse to pay more in alimony.
For child support and child custody, the court’s first priority is the child’s best interests. It is typically not in the child’s best interest to live with a stranger. Therefore, the spouse who is living with someone else while the divorce is pending may be less likely to receive the child custody arrangement they want.
An Experienced Attorney Can Help
Idaho takes infidelity seriously, and adultery can have a major impact on your divorce case. By working with a knowledgeable divorce attorney in Idaho, you can seek the best possible outcome for your future. At Shep Law Group, we are committed to providing strong legal strategies to each of our clients. We proudly serve individuals in Boise, Meridian, Ada County, Canyon County, and throughout the state of Idaho. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.