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How Can a Cheating Spouse Affect the Illinois Divorce Process?

Posted on in Illinois Divorce

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Infidelity on the part of one or both spouses is one of the most common reasons for a marriage to fail. If your spouse has been unfaithful and you are unable to work through it together, a divorce may be imminent, and it is reasonable to wonder how the infidelity might affect the divorce process. The answer may surprise you, but it can also help you prepare more effectively for your divorce.

Infidelity Is Not a Legal Reason for Divorce in Illinois 

Though a spouse’s unfaithfulness may be a major contributing factor, or even the most important factor, in your personal decision to get a divorce, Illinois is a no-fault divorce state in which irreconcilable differences are the only legally recognized grounds for divorce. This means that an unfaithful spouse will not be held responsible for causing the divorce, and the infidelity will not be considered by the court in any decisions regarding the division of property, spousal support, or the allocation of parental responsibilities. However, this does not necessarily mean that infidelity will have no impact whatsoever on the way your divorce proceeds.

The Possible Impacts of Infidelity

Usually, the effects of a spouse’s cheating are most prominent when it comes to the ability for spouses to work cooperatively to reach an agreement on important decisions during the divorce process. Specifically, some effects you may notice include:

  • Heightened emotions: Any divorcing couple is likely to experience strong emotions during the divorce process, but infidelity can result in anger, jealousy, and other destructive feelings that make it difficult to communicate with your spouse as you attempt to negotiate an agreement.

  • Lack of trust: If you were blindsided by your spouse’s cheating, it may have destroyed any trust you once had, which may make it difficult to believe that your spouse will not try to hurt you further during the divorce process. When divorce negotiations cannot proceed in good faith, you may find that your only option is to go to trial.

  • Effects on your children: If your children are aware of the infidelity, it may severely damage their relationships with one or both parents, especially if they are stuck in the middle of intense conflict. The situation may be more complicated if one parent intends to introduce a new romantic partner to the children during the divorce process or soon after.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Attorney

At Weiler and Lengle PC, we understand how difficult it can be to recover from your spouse’s cheating, and we can help you prepare for how it may affect your divorce process. We are committed to protecting your best interests and those of your children and to keep conflict to a minimum as we work toward a resolution. Call our knowledgeable and compassionate Kane County divorce lawyers today at 630-382-8050 to schedule a confidential consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=3700000&SeqEnd=5200000

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/divorce-questions-adultery_n_1471111

 

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