|Valentine’s Crossover Topic: Divorce & Infidelity
While we do not handle family law/domestic cases, we have some great family law attorneys in our office. In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, we occasionally try to get topics that apply to (the dissolution of) love and relationships. A story from February 2019 (Who gets the engagement ring if an engagement is called off?) is still popular years later!
This year, we wanted to discuss how infidelity impacts a divorce. Generally, adultery is seldom prosecuted as a crime so its impact (if any) mostly applies to civil proceedings. Missouri is a modified no-fault divorce state which means the conduct of a party can be used by the judge when making a decision regarding maintenance (alimony), division of property and attorney’s fees. According to our in-house family law specialist, nothing will make a judge more mad than one of the spouses spending marital money on a mistress/paramour. Conduct of the parties does not impact child support, visitation or custody UNLESS the adulterous behavior/conduct impacts the child in some way.
While it may be tempting to begin a new relationship if the current marriage is “over”, it is best to file for and finalize a divorce BEFORE making too many post marriage plans. Hope everyone has a Happy Valentine’s Day!