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Does Cheating Impact a Divorce Case?

Unhappy couple

Few things are more painful to experience in life than divorce, especially if a person has been unfaithful. If you have reached the end of your marriage and there has been adultery, you may be wondering how that will impact your divorce.

Role of Adultery in Tennessee Divorce Cases

If you or your spouse have engaged in sexual relations with someone outside your marriage, it is considered adultery. Tennessee recognizes both no-fault and fault-based grounds for divorce and will accept a divorce on the grounds of adultery.

Although adultery is not a crime in Tennessee, it can be a crucial deciding factor in many aspects of a divorce. If you are separating on these grounds, you must be prepared to provide evidence that shows the infidelity occurred. For example, phone records, credit cards, bank statements, emails, text messages, photos, and videos are often used to show that a spouse was likely committing adultery.

3 Divorce Aspects Adultery Affects

1. Alimony. Adultery only directly impacts alimony. If the affair was the reason for the end of the marriage, then the judge has the discretion to consider infidelity when deciding spousal support.

2. Property division. If your spouse used marital funds for the affair, courts might look at it when dividing marital assets. Many times, adultery involves wasteful spending, including expenditures on hotel and restaurant bills and gifts. Although infidelity does not play a direct role in dividing marital property, the courts will seek to create an equitable split. If your spouse provably spent money on the affair, and this impacted your marital assets, the court may award you a larger share.

3. Child custody. In the same way as property division, courts don’t consider adultery when deciding child custody matters unless the child’s wellbeing is harmed at the result of the affair.

If you have additional questions about divorce and adultery in Tennessee, contact our experienced family lawyers today at (855) 919-4124.