Can a cheating spouse affect your divorce case?

No one wants to learn that the person considered the love of his or her life has committed adultery. Unfortunately, you found yourself in this situation. Now, you face a great deal of confusion and emotional turmoil, and you will likely need to decide how you want to approach your future, especially if you are considering divorce.

While some people have the ability to face marital issues — like an affair — head-on and come out on the other side as a stronger couple, you may not feel that your situation will work that way. In fact, your spouse may even want to end the marriage in order to start a new relationship with someone else. This information may seem hurtful, but you may wonder whether it could work to your advantage in divorce proceedings.

No-fault divorce

Missouri is a no-fault divorce state. This designation means that you do not have to have a specific reason for filing for divorce, and you do not have to prove that your spouse irrevocably damaged the relationship. However, this also means that the court will likely not give you any favorable considerations simply because your spouse cheated.

Making your argument

While the court may not immediately rule anything in your favor, you can still make arguments about how the affair affected your marriage and your life. If your spouse used a considerable amount of marital funds to buy gifts, pay for vacations or provide living accommodations for the third party, you may have the ability to argue that you deserve at least a portion of the amount spent.

Additionally, if you have kids, you may have the ability to prove that your spouse neglected the children in favor of the third party, which could potentially impact child custody outcomes.

Negotiations and guilt

If your spouse feels guilty about his or her actions or if the desire to move the process along quickly exists, you may have the chance to use those feelings during negotiations. Your spouse may feel more willing to give you more of what you want if he or she thinks that will soothe the feelings of guilt, or if it will help move the process along and allow your soon-to-be ex to start a new relationship.

Whatever approach you decide to take with your divorce, it is important that you have the right information on your legal options. You certainly do not want to find yourself taken advantage of again, and utilizing local legal resources can help you obtain reliable facts and assistance.


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