affair affecting divorce

Does An Extramarital Affair Affect a Divorce in Alabama?

There are no circumstances in which divorce is easy, but a marriage ending because of an affair may be one of the most painful options. Not only does the faithful partner have to grapple with the end of their marriage, but they must also face the betrayal of infidelity. In most states, infidelity has no impact on divorce, due to no-fault divorce laws. Alabama is a bit different, which may or may not affect the outcome of your divorce.

If you’re facing divorce and you’re not sure where to turn, make Kirk Drennan Law your next call. Call us at 205-803-3500 to schedule a consultation now.

Adultery as Grounds for Divorce in Alabama

In Alabama, you can pursue a fault-based or no-fault divorce. The main benefit of a no-fault divorce is speed, as it allows you to terminate the marriage without anyone accepting blame. However, if you can prove that your partner was unfaithful to you in your marriage, it may help you in several different ways.

Note that you cannot simply tell the court that your partner was unfaithful and use that as a way to get what you want. You must be able to provide evidence that your partner had an affair. Direct evidence is difficult to come by, but not impossible if you hire a private investigator. You can also use communication between your spouse and affair partner as proof of an affair.

Once you have proven to the court that your partner did have an extramarital affair, they may grant a fault-based divorce.

What If Your Partner Used Marital Assets for Their Affair?

One of the main ways an affair impacts divorce is with the division of assets. Alabama law allows for the equitable distribution of assets, which means that a wide variety of factors are taken into account.

If your spouse used marital funds and assets to fund their affair, you may be able to secure a greater share of the assets during the divorce. You did not consent to your funds being used on your spouse’s affair partner, and you should be reimbursed for that loss.

This is particularly important if your spouse spent an exorbitant amount of money on their affair partner. It’s not uncommon for a high-earning spouse to lavish an affair partner with cars, vacations, cash, and even real estate. That should cut into their share of the assets, not yours.

How an Affair May Affect Alimony

If one party is unfaithful, that can also affect the court’s decision regarding spousal support. Suppose the lower-earning or non-working party in the marriage is unfaithful, their spouse successfully proves it, and the parties are granted a fault-based divorce.

Even though the low-earning spouse may be entitled to alimony, the amount they actually receive may be significantly lower if they were unfaithful. The opposite is also true. If the partner who earns more money is involved in an extramarital affair, they may have to pay their spouse more alimony.

Child Custody After an Affair

In some circumstances, an extramarital affair can even affect child custody decisions. This is not as common as the other items on this list, as it’s entirely possible for an affair to have minimal effect on the divorcing couple’s children.

Even if one partner engages in an affair, the court will still want the children to have significant and meaningful time with both parents. As a result, the court will only change child custody if the affair has a substantially detrimental effect on the children.

This may occur if the unfaithful spouse involves their affair partner in their children’s lives, attempts to influence the children to view their affair partner as a parent, or alienates the other parent with the assistance of the affair partner.

Start the Path to Healing with Kirk Drennan Law

As you work through your feelings about your spouse’s betrayal and your divorce, don’t let your legal needs fall to the bottom of your priority list. You deserve an attorney who will fight aggressively on your behalf, and the team at Kirk Drennan Law is ready to step into that role. We know that it’s hard to fight for yourself when you’re going through a divorce, so let us take on the hard tasks while you heal. Call us at 205-803-3500 or get in touch online to get started.

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