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How Infidelity Can Affect Your Divorce in a No-Fault Divorce State

Posted on in Illinois Divorce

Kane County divorce lawyerAlthough Illinois is considered a no-fault divorce state, there is no doubt that infidelity and other extramarital affairs can be the root cause of a failed marriage. Cheating in a marriage can cause lasting damage to a relationship, often leading to divorce. However, unfaithfulness cannot be used to negotiate a more favorable divorce plan for one spouse over another. The court will see infidelity as a mutual disagreement between partners, not as a way to blame a cheating spouse. However, infidelity can still affect a divorce in a few ways. 

Understanding Irreconcilable Differences 

“Irreconcilable differences” is the legal term used in no-fault divorce states to express that a marriage is beyond repair. The term irreconcilable differences is meant to blame both partners equally, hence the term no-fault divorce. Essentially, this means that both partners have had substantial enough disagreements throughout the marriage that renders the relationship unfixable. 

Irreconcilable differences in a no-fault divorce state allow the court to emphasize an equitable division of shared marital property. No matter the reason for divorce, both parties will have their property split fairly and equitably. However, infidelity can still affect the divorce process in other ways. 

Dissipation of Assets 

If the court finds a spouse wasted shared marital assets on the extramarital affair, the other spouse can petition for dissipation of assets. Dissipation is used when a spouse squanders assets, including money. The other spouse can retain sole custody of that asset by demanding dissipation.

An example of how dissipation of assets would affect an unfaithful spouse is if that spouse spent money on the affair. Purchasing hotel rooms, gifts for an adulterous relationship, and any shared money spent without the other spouse’s consent can be dissipated if the spending occurred after the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. 

Child-Related Issues 

Although cheating cannot factor into a parent’s ability to retain custody or visitation of their children, the court may find one party unsuitable if a spouse has neglected the family during an affair. According to Illinois law, any matters or incidents that did not involve the children cannot be factored into any decision regarding child custody, visitation, or parenting plans. However, the court will determine how suitable a parent is when deciding who will retain custody and how to select a visitation plan. If an affair has caused a parent to neglect their duties, this could affect their ability to maintain child custody. 

Speak to a Kane County Divorce Lawyer 

At [title]], our skilled Kane County divorce and family lawyers can help guide you through the divorce process. With years of combined experience, our attorneys are prepared to sort through the unique details of your situation and help you obtain the most favorable outcome in your divorce. Please contact us today by calling 630-382-8050



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