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Can Infidelity Affect My Illinois Divorce Proceedings?

 Posted on July 25, 2019 in Divorce

Oak Park divorce lawyer for infidelity

For many couples, a betrayal of any kind can mean the end of the marriage. It is often hard to move past a mistake such as infidelity, even if it only took place one time. Trust can be irretrievably broken after adultery is committed, and for some people, that trust cannot be regained. Therefore, they decide to end their legal union. It is best to seek legal counsel once the decision has been made to divorce in order to understand what happens next when it comes to the division of property, child-related issues, spousal maintenance, and more.      

Understanding Illinois Divorce Laws 

Even though the betrayed spouse may wish to blame the other spouse for destroying the marriage, Illinois divorce law does not recognize fault-based grounds for divorce. A petition for divorce need only state that “irreconcilable differences” are the reason for the end of the relationship, and that it is beyond repair. Illinois law also states that no marital misconduct of any kind should be considered when determining how to divide marital property fairly or whether to award spousal support. However, there may be certain scenarios in which adultery can impact a divorce case, including:

  • Dissipation of Assets: A person cannot be awarded a larger share of the marital property just because his or her spouse cheated. However, if a spouse spent marital money on his or her lover during an extramarital affair (for instance, to pay for hotel stays, extravagant dinners, or jewelry), it is possible a judge will award the wronged spouse a larger amount of the marital property in order to make up for what the cheating spouse spent throughout the affair. The betrayed partner may file a dissipation claim, requesting that the other spouse be ordered to repay the marital estate for the amount he or she squandered.

  • Child-Related Issues: When a court determines parenting time or allocation of parental responsibilities, they may consider one parent’s actions or relationship with a new person, especially in cases where addiction or mental illness is diagnosed.

  • Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreements: If a couple created a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it may state that a spouse will relinquish some of his or her rights to part of the marital property or to receive maintenance payments if one party commits adultery.

Contact an Oak Park Divorce Attorney

The decision to file for divorce may come as a result of your spouse cheating on you. In these cases, feelings of resentment and bitterness are normal. However, you should not let your emotions get the best of you and cause you to make mistakes during the divorce process. The skilled legal team at Wakenight and Associates, P.C. will advise you throughout your divorce proceedings and explain how the Illinois laws may impact your situation. We will help you determine the best approach to take and work to help you achieve a positive outcome. Call our compassionate Cook County divorce lawyers today at 708-848-3159 to schedule a free consultation. 


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