Infidelity. It’s the cause of the breakdown of many marriages. The question is – how much does it matter in your divorce?
Like most things in the law – it depends. It is helpful to look at the indiscretion from each of the primary issues in a divorce:
1). Child Custody/Parenting Time: In general, whether you cheated on your spouse is not relevant to whether you should have custody of your children. The Michigan Supreme Court declared this in 1994. Any spouse’s infidelity is only relevant to the question of the best interest of the children, such as if infidelity has had an effect on the cheating spouse’s ability to function as a parent.
2). Spousal Support: Infidelity may be considered when determining an appropriate spousal support award. However, only to the extent that the infidelity is part of the fault in the divorce. Furthermore, the fault is just one of the fourteen factors that must be considered by a Court when determining whether to grant spousal support.
3). Division of Property: Like spousal support, infidelity may be considered when determining the division of marital property. However, the burden is on the party that is requesting a “more than 50%” division of property to prove that any division greater than 50% in their favor is equitable based on the circumstances of the case.
In sum, even if there is infidelity in your case, it is possible to have a good outcome in your divorce proceedings. Having an attorney that understands your circumstances without passing judgment is key. If you are concerned regarding issues of infidelity in your divorce, schedule a consultation with Levine & Levine to discuss your options.