Marital infidelity is more common than you may think. While statistics vary widely, it is estimated that as many as 60% of men and 40% of will participate in marital infidelity. While cheating doesn’t always lead to divorce, it is a contributing factor in many cases. While the emotional impact of marital infidelity is easy to see, many people do no understand the impact it can have on a divorce settlement.
The Types of Divorce
There are two types of divorce, no-fault and fault divorce. No-fault divorce doesn’t require the spouse asking for a divorce to prove the other spouse did anything wrong. This is often the easiest way to get divorced. Some states offer no-fault divorce without a waiting period. Other states require the couple to be separated for a given period before filing for a no-fault divorce. Rhode Island falls into the latter category. In Rhode Island, a couple must be separated for three years before filing for a no-fault divorce. Some couples do not want to wait this long.
To get a divorce immediately in Rhode Island you must file for an at-fault divorce. In this proceeding, it will be the responsibility of the party seeking the divorce to prove that the other has caused the relationship to fail. Some common grounds for fault include desertion, adultery, cruelty, and confinement in prison.
How Marital Infidelity Affects No-Fault Divorce Settlements
In a no-fault divorce case, marital infidelity is rarely considered in a settlement or alimony. The courts don’t take into consideration any events that occurred during the marriage in determining how assets are divided or alimony payments. However, marital infidelity can impact out of court negotiations. An affair can be used as leverage in such situations to get more from the partner that cheated. If you have caught your spouse cheating, you may just want to consider an at-fault divorce in the first place.
How Marital Infidelity Affects Fault Divorce Settlements
Marital infidelity is one of the easiest ways to prove fault in divorce proceedings. Showing an affair will lead to a larger settlement for the spouse seeking a divorce. There is also no wait time for an at-fault divorce in Rhode Island.
Poor conduct that has led to emotional distress can be a cause for a settlement on the higher end of the scale. This is particularly the case if the cheating spouse is found to be spending large amounts of money on their lover. If a husband has spent money renting a lover an apartment or buying them gifts the wife may be entitled to additional money on top of the settlement for similar expenses.
Cheating can often affect child support and alimony as well. For instance, a cheating spouse that has been found to be ignoring their children’s needs or shirking family responsibilities can have their alimony or child support raised based on the extent of their neglect.
Marital infidelity will affect both the court’s decisions in these types of divorce proceedings as well as private negotiations that occur between parties.
Does Marital Infidelity Affect Child Custody
More often than not cheating has little to no bearing on custody proceedings. However, if the cheating spouse has exposed their children to inappropriate situations or people, this could be used against them. Carrying out the affair in front of their children can also harm their custody case. In cases where the cheating is performed without the children’s knowledge custody is usually not affected.
Prenuptial agreements are increasingly common. Many prenuptial agreements contain clauses about extramarital affairs. The infidelity clauses in these agreements determine how much the settlement and alimony payments will be if a spouse cheats. Lifestyle clauses are finding their way into more and more prenuptial agreements. These clauses work both ways, meaning an increase in a settlement if the monied spouse cheats and a decrease if the non-monied spouse cheats. Even celebrities are getting into the mix. It has been reported that Jessica Biel will receive $500,000 if Justin Timberlake cheats. This is especially important in states that do not offer at fault divorce proceedings.
Cheating is bad, but it happens. Getting an experienced Rhode Island divorce attorney is a good place to start. Should you be the one that was cheated on you’ll want to speak to your attorney about the best way to proceed. Following their advice is probably the best course of action. After all, your attorney knows the laws and can help you get the settlement that you deserve. Getting an experience Rhode Island divorce attorney is a good place to
In some cases, you may think that it is just best to let bygones be bygones, this decision is solely up to you. Don’t let your emotions take hold and make decisions for you. Sit down with your council and discuss all of your options. Rationally think about the situation and decide the best way to move forward.