The Impact of Cheating on Divorce Settlements? What You Need to Know

Infidelity can be a devastating blow to any marriage, often leading to divorce.

A Divorcing couple
The Impact of Cheating on Divorce Settlements?| Courtship

But how does cheating affect the financial and legal outcomes of divorce proceedings?

This article delves into the impact of adultery on divorce settlements and addresses common questions surrounding this sensitive topic.

How cheating affects divorce setlement?

Cheating can have varying impacts on divorce settlements, depending on the jurisdiction and the specifics of the case.

How cheating affects divorce setlement

1.Spousal Support

If it can be proven that the cheating spouse spent marital assets on the affair, such as gifts or trips, the court may order repayment in the form of higher alimony or a greater share of asset division.

2. Child Support

Generally, infidelity does not lead to increased child support unless the affair directly affects the children’s welfare.

3. Child Custody

Cheating typically doesn’t impact custody arrangements unless the affair has resulted in unsafe behaviours around the child or if substance abuse is involved.

4. STD Transmission

If a spouse transmitted an STD due to their infidelity, it might be possible to sue for compensation on the basis of a “marital tort” with the necessary proof.

5. Filing Grounds

Whether to file for divorce on the grounds of adultery depends on state laws.

Fault-based divorces can be more contentious and costly, and the burden of proof lies with the accuser.

It’s important to note that these are general guidelines, and the actual impact of cheating on a divorce settlement can vary.

Consulting with a legal professional is always recommended for advice tailored to individual circumstances.

The Legal Stance on Cheating and Divorce

Adultery can influence divorce settlements in various ways, depending on the laws of the state or country.

Civil Protection
The Legal Stance on Cheating and Divorce

While some jurisdictions consider cheating when dividing assets or determining alimony, others may not.

Asset Division

If a cheating spouse has used marital funds for the affair, courts may compensate the other spouse by awarding a larger portion of the marital assets.

Alimony and Spousal Support

Courts may consider infidelity when deciding on spousal support, especially if marital funds were spent on the affair1.

Child Custody and Support

Generally, cheating does not directly affect child custody arrangements unless the affair has had a direct negative impact on the children’s well-being.

FAQs on Cheating and Divorce Settlements

Can cheating affect the outcome of my divorce settlement?

Yes, cheating can affect the outcome of a divorce settlement.

While the specifics can vary depending on local laws, here are some general ways in which infidelity might influence the settlement:

1.Asset Division

If the cheating spouse used marital funds to support the affair, the court may award a larger share of the assets to the non-cheating spouse.


Infidelity can impact alimony awards, especially if the cheating spouse’s actions diminished the marital estate.

3.Custody and Visitation

While cheating is generally not considered in custody decisions, it could be a factor if the affair had negative implications for the children’s well-being.

It’s important to consult with a legal professional for advice specific to your situation, as laws and practices can differ greatly by region.

Will I receive more in child support if my spouse cheated?

Generally, cheating does not directly affect child support amounts. Child support is typically calculated based on each parent’s income, the needs of the child, and the custody arrangement, rather than the parents’ conduct.

However, there are some exceptions where cheating could indirectly influence child support, such as if the cheating spouse’s financial situation changes due to the affair.

It’s important to consult with a legal professional in your jurisdiction to understand how these principles apply to your specific situation.

Should I file for divorce on the grounds of adultery?

Deciding whether to file for divorce on the grounds of adultery involves several considerations:

Legal Implications

In some states, courts may consider adultery when deciding on alimony or property division. However, fault-based divorces can be more stressful and expensive than no-fault divorces.

Proof Requirements

Proving adultery in court typically requires evidence beyond just one spouse’s testimony, which can involve hiring a private investigator and additional legal fees.

Personal Considerations

emotional toll of pursuing a fault-based divorce should not be underestimated. It can be a public and contentious process.

State Laws

The laws vary by state, and in some places, adultery is technically a crime, although these laws are rarely enforced².

Finally, it’s important to consult with a family law attorney to understand how the laws in your state apply to your case and to choose the best course of action for your personal circumstances.


While the emotional consequences of cheating are profound, its impact on divorce settlements varies.

Understanding your legal rights and the implications of adultery on your divorce is crucial for protecting your interests.

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