Will My Affair Impact Our Divorce Settlement?

Going through a divorce can be one of the most challenging times in a person's life. The process can become even more complex and emotionally charged when infidelity is involved. It's natural and quite common to worry about how an affair might affect the outcome of your divorce settlement.

Adultery as Grounds for Divorce

In the state of Ohio, adultery is indeed a grounds for divorce. However, it's important to note that Ohio is a mixed state, meaning that you can pursue a no-fault divorce or cite specific misconduct, such as adultery, as the cause of your marital breakdown. No-fault divorce simply means that neither party is being blamed for the ending of the marriage, typically citing "irreconcilable differences."

The impact of adultery on the divorce settlement primarily depends on whether it had a significant financial consequence for the marital estate. For instance, if the unfaithful spouse spent a substantial amount of marital assets on their lover, the court may adjust the property distribution in the innocent spouse's favor to compensate for the wasted assets.

However, in most cases, adultery tends to have little to no impact on alimony, child custody, or property division unless financial misconduct in relation to the affair is proven. In Ohio, the courts are typically more focused on ensuring the divorce settlement is equitable and fair rather than punishing an unfaithful spouse.

Does Cheating Impact Divorce Settlements in Ohio?

In Ohio, the law typically considers marriage as an economic partnership. As such, when it comes to the division of property during a divorce, Ohio follows an equitable distribution approach. This means that marital assets are divided fairly but not necessarily equally.

However, there are exceptions. Although an affair alone won't directly impact the division of property, it could have an indirect effect in certain circumstances. For instance, if marital assets were used to support an affair, such as buying gifts or paying for trips, the court could factor in this dissipation of assets when determining the division of property.

Here are some ways in which infidelity might indirectly impact a divorce settlement:

  • Dissipation of marital assets: If significant marital funds were spent on the affair, the court might adjust the property division to compensate for this.
  • Impact on child custody: While infidelity does not typically influence custody decisions, the court could consider it if the affair partner is a negative influence on the children.
  • Alimony awards: Although adultery does not usually affect alimony if the affair had financial implications that left the non-adulterous spouse financially disadvantaged, it could potentially play a role.

Keep in mind that each divorce case is unique, and outcomes can vary widely. Therefore, it's crucial to consult with an experienced divorce attorney who can provide guidance based on your specific circumstances.

How to Prove Infidelity in a Divorce Case

To prove infidelity in a divorce case, you'll need to provide compelling evidence that your spouse had an affair. This can be challenging and emotionally taxing. It's essential to approach this process carefully, with the guidance of an experienced divorce attorney, to ensure that your evidence is legally obtained and admissible in court.

Here are some common forms of evidence used to prove infidelity:

  • Text messages and emails: Electronic communications between your spouse and their alleged lover can provide strong evidence of an affair. However, these must be obtained legally.
  • Photos and videos: Visual proof of an affair, such as photos or videos, can be powerful evidence.
  • Witness testimonies: Statements from friends, family, or colleagues who were aware of the affair can also serve as evidence.
  • Financial records: Unexplained expenses, such as hotel bookings or luxury purchases, could suggest an affair.

Following the collection of evidence, it's important to understand how it will impact your divorce proceedings. As previously mentioned, Ohio is a mixed state regarding divorce, meaning that the presence of adultery can influence the outcome of the divorce, but not in every case. Cases where the infidelity has significantly affected the marital assets, the court may adjust the distribution. Nevertheless, the primary goal of the court is to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of assets and that the children's best interests are met.

How We Can Help

At Crossman & McNamee, LLC, our legal team has extensive experience in navigating complex divorce cases involving adultery. We understand the subtleties of Ohio divorce law and apply this knowledge to ensure our clients receive a fair and equitable settlement. Whether you are the party alleging infidelity or the one being accused, we can provide robust legal support, representing your best interests and working diligently to achieve the most favorable outcome for you.

Our attorneys can assist you in gathering and presenting the necessary evidence if you choose to prove adultery in your divorce case. With a keen understanding of what is legally admissible in court, we can guide you through the often-challenging process of substantiating infidelity claims. This includes handling sensitive information with utmost discretion and respect, aiming to minimize any additional emotional strain this process may impose.

We can also evaluate the potential financial implications of an affair on your divorce settlement. If marital assets were improperly used or dissipated because of an affair, we strive to ensure those losses are considered during the division of assets. With our legal guidance, we assist you in navigating the complexities of divorce law, ultimately aiming to protect your rights and financial security.

If you are facing a divorce and infidelity is involved, we are here to help. Contact us online or give us a call at (937) 468-3796 to schedule a consultation and learn more about our legal services.