If I cheat on my wife, whatare the financial consequences in a divorce?

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If I cheat on my wife, whatare the financial consequences in a divorce?

Asked on April 11, 2011 under Family Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

Wyckoff Nissenbaum / The Law Office of Wyckoff Nissenbaum

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The above answer is correct. The factors that decide the division of assets are found in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 208 Section 34. Your indiscretions will most likely have no factor in the division of assets. If you spend marital funds on your significant others, then that is another story. 

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In MA, a divorce can either be "no-fault" or based on fault (of which adultery is a ground).  When it comes to the division of property adultery can be factor; when it comes to an alimony award adultery can also be a factor (if the divorce is no-fault).  The reason is that 1 of the factors the court uses in determining property division and alimony is the conduct of the parties during the marriage.  However, it is very difficult to prove adultery in a divorce case.  You either need to have the 3rd party testify that they cheated, have solid evidence that your spouse has cheated (video or photographic), or a child born out of wedlock.

Note:  While adultery is a factor to be considered by the court, there are 9 other factors that the court uses as well.


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