Missouri is a no-fault state for divorces. That means you don’t have to provide a grounds for asking the court to grant a divorce, beyond stating that there are irreparable differences with no chances of reconciliation or preservation.
While that may seem straightforward, it doesn’t completely absolve a spouse of responsibility for behavior like adultery. If you’ve been cheated on, you can still try and prove in court that there was infidelity in order to affect the outcome of the divorce, including things like alimony, child custody, and property divisions.
If you suspect your spouse of adultery, there are a few specific signs you should watch for to help you gauge your suspicion. These include:
- Being secretive, particularly about their phone and computer usage. This may include shielding you from seeing it, erasing large amounts of communication or browsing history, or being overly protective over the devices.
- Excessive periods where you cannot contact your spouse. It may present itself as working late, staying out late, or disappearing during the day for stretches of time. You may also notice schedule changes.
- Changing appearances significantly. This could include dressing nicer, improving grooming habits, and restyling.
- Projecting anger or frustration back on you or toward your relationship. This type of defensiveness presents itself as shifting blame, deflection, deprioritizing or resenting your marriage, or criticizing you and parts of your relationship.
- A reduced sex life and lower emotional connection. You may begin to feel a distancing occurring, which can be a red flag that something is significantly wrong.
- Strange charges on credit cards or excessive spending. This might show up on credit card reports, bills, or a bank statement.
None of these signs mean your spouse is absolutely cheating, of course, but they can be the first step in deducing what’s going on if you sense that something is off.
Proving the adultery is the challenging part. You’ll need to present evidence, which may include:
- Cellphone records displaying excessive calls to one number
- Statements from witnesses or confidantes, such as friends, family, or colleagues
- Conversations or messages found on a computer or phone
- Photographic evidence of your spouse with a particular person
- Credit card and bank account spending patterns, such as for travel, hotels, or dining
By providing evidence and documentation in court during a divorce proceeding, whether or not you are the one who initiated the divorce itself, you can advocate for yourself and argue for a more just outcome.