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3 Ways an Affair Can Affect Your Divorce

 Posted on April 25, 2024 in Divorce

DuPage County, IL divorce lawyerNot all divorces are equal. Some divorces come suddenly and shockingly, while others are expected and a long time in coming. In the latter case, the spouses may have separated for months before the divorce. One of the spouses could have moved out, and one or both spouses may have found new romantic partners.

While there is no law against having an affair, it can affect your divorce and you should check with a qualified Illinois attorney before starting a serious relationship before your marriage ends. This article will discuss three ways an affair can affect your divorce.

Your Affair Can Affect Alimony

In many divorces, one of the spouses — called the “payor” — is required to pay alimony to the other spouse, called the “payee.” 

Under Illinois law, the payee can receive spousal support only as long as he or she is not in a “supportive relationship.” A supportive relationship is a relationship in which the partners are expected to financially support each other. This means:

  • If the payee remarries, he or she is no longer entitled to alimony.

  • If the payee cohabits with someone else, which means he or she is living in a marriage-like relationship with a new partner, he or she is no longer entitled to spousal support.

If you are living together with a romantic partner other than your spouse, you will not be eligible to receive spousal support.

Your Affair Can Affect Child Custody

Whenever there is a dispute about child custody in a divorce, a court will aim to answer one question: what is best for the child? To answer this, a judge will look at many factors, such as:

  • Any reports of abuse or neglect

  • If either parent has an alcohol or drug addiction

  • Whether either parent has someone living in their house who is unsafe for the child

  • Whether either parent is dating someone who may be a threat to the child’s emotional, mental, or physical well-being

If you are angling for more child custody, make sure your new partner is not someone whom the court might be concerned about.

Your Affair Can Affect Asset Division

Asset division is when a divorcing couple divides their marital property, which is those assets that legally belong to both spouses. It is a complex legal process that should be handled by an attorney who is well-experienced in asset division.

If a spouse is concerned that the other spouse is wasting or abusing marital assets, he or she can file a petition with the court to freeze those assets until they are divided. If you are spending money on an affair that belongs to both you and your spouse, that will be viewed as abusing marital property.

Contact a Wheaton, Illinois Divorce Attorney

Whether you are getting divorced and considering starting an affair, or in an affair and considering getting divorced, you should know what legal consequences your actions could have. Contact a DuPage County, Illinois divorce lawyer who is experienced in divorce matters and can explain your options. At Goostree Law Group, we have over 80 years of combined experience and are focused on defending your best interests. Call 630-364-4046 for a free consultation today.

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