Why Adultery Can Still Matter In A Divorce

Since, 2010, New York has been a no-fault divorce state. This means, that for the vast majority of divorces, you do not have to allege any grounds (meaning reasons) why you want to get divorced.  Prior to this law, one of the most common grounds that was cited was adultery. Now, it is extremely rare for adultery to be stated as one of the grounds for your divorce. However, there are a few exceptions to this general rule.

One of the main exceptions, is if there is a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial that states that if a spouse commits adultery, then the other spouse may get more assets or more maintenance. This would be a very good reason why you would need to cite adultery as one of the grounds.

Indeed, in a recent case, this is exactly what happened. The parties had a post-nuptial agreement, that stated if the husband engaged in adultery, that he would have to give to the wife 80% of all the marital assets. When filing for divorce, the wife made sure to state adultery as one of the causes of divorce.

There are two other main areas where adultery can still matter. First, if the adulterous spouse spent large amounts of money on the “other person”, then this may be deemed to be wasteful spending and the innocent spouse may be entitled to monetary compensation. For example, if the spouse took the “other person” on an expensive vacation, the amount of money spent on this vacation would most likely be considered wasteful spending.

Adultery can also matter when it comes to the amount of spousal maintenance that is awarded.  In considering the amount of maintenance, a court can take into account if a spouse had an affair. Although, this is technically available, most courts do not take into account adultery when setting the amount of spousal maintenance.

It is also important to know when adultery does not matter. In deciding child custody, whether or not, one spouse committed adultery, will have little to no effect on which parent gets custody or the amount of time that a parent gets with a child.

David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. provide real-world advice to help you through this challenging time. If you suspect that your spouse has committed adultery, contact the Badanes Law Office to see what your rights are.

If you are contemplating getting a divorce on Long Island, and need an attorney to represent you, call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office today at 631-239-1702 or email at david@dbnylaw.com. We have offices in Northport, Suffolk County and Uniondale, Nassau County.

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