What Impact Does an Affair Have On My Divorce

If both spouses make approximately the same amount of money it is unlikely that an affair will affect a spouse’s rights to alimony.   Therefore, an initial inquiry to determine whether there was a supporting/dependent spouse relationship during the marriage is necessary in determining whether alimony should be awarded.

If there is a finding that one spouse is a dependent spouse and the other is a supporting spouse an affair can have a substantial impact on whether or not alimony is awarded, the amount of alimony awarded, and it’s duration.   N.C. General Statutes § 50-16.3A controls in what circumstances alimony will be awarded and what factors come into play in determining the amount and duration of an award.  In some circumstances, an affair will bar a dependent spouse from receiving alimony or require a supporting spouse to pay alimony.   There are exceptions to each of these requirements, such as if both parties had an affair and whether the actions of either spouse were condoned by the other spouse.

Out of court settlements can also be adversely impacted by marital misconduct.  Affairs usually result in feelings of resentment between spouses, which can make out of court settlement extremely difficult.  It is not uncommon for a spouse to feel entitled to more support or property due to the marital misconduct of the other spouse.  In some instances, infidelity comes into play, however it is not necessarily relevant to custody and equitable distribution issues.  Having an attorney by your side who can advise you as to what impact if any an affair has on your case, can save you time and resources in the long run.