Divorce can be messy. More often than not, people just grow apart or want different things from life; however, it is not unusual that clients come to us talking about adultery by one or both of the parties. What should you do if your spouse cheats on you?
- Chose to work work together to save your marriage. We realize that this is almost never the first reaction, but for some couples, it is an option;
- Have a consultation with a reputable attorney who can explain the divorce process and your rights;
- File a Complaint for Divorce, either jointly or contested, stating that there is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage; or
- File a Complaint for Divorce with fault. You can request that the court order a divorce based on many types of fault, including desertion, gross intoxication, adultery, non-support, impotency or extended incarceration. Some people feel that it is important to them, for a variety of reasons, to file in this manner. Because the petitioner essentially has to prove that his spouse is “guilty.” litigation typically takes a bit longer and is more costly.
Conduct is one of 34 factors that the courts use to determine the division of marital assets under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 208, Section 34. How much does conduct of the parties really matter? It depends, but can be somewhat punitive and restorative.
Consider and compare these two situations:
1. Husband has purchased one casual dinner for his girlfriend per week over the last few months;
2. Wife has bought a dinner a week for her boyfriend for the last two years and all dinners were at the Four Seasons in different cities.
Different situations, right? Is the likely financial impact different? Yes. Very.
Some states have taken the fault option a step further and allow for a spouse to sue the girlfriend or boyfriend involved:
What are your thoughts on this?