My spouse cheated on me. Will this affect my divorce?

Photo of attorney Melinda L. Singer

Nothing can be more devastating than finding out your spouse has had an affair. Such events often lead to divorce, as the trust you once had in your spouse is forever broken. During this emotional time, you may wonder if the fact that your spouse cheated can be grounds for a divorce and whether it will impact the outcome of your divorce.

Grounds for divorce in New Jersey

In New Jersey, there are various grounds for divorce. Adultery is one of the fault-based grounds for divorce, along with incarceration and institutionalization. Extreme cruelty and separation for at least 18 months are also fault-based grounds for divorce.

However, perhaps the most common ground for divorce is irreconcilable differences. This is a no-fault basis for divorce. To qualify you or your spouse must have resided in New Jersey for 12 months in a row, you must have experienced irreconcilable differences for at least six months, these differences must be the reason your relationship should be dissolved and there must be no hope for reconciliation.

Do I have an advantage if my spouse was unfaithful?

One question you may have is if the court will look more favorably on you because your spouse was unfaithful. Sometimes fault-based divorces are resolved more quickly than no-fault divorces, although this is not a guarantee. Also, sometimes the aggrieved spouse has an advantage when it comes to spousal support and property division, but again, this is no guarantee.

Ultimately, divorces involving adultery can be complex, so it is important to seek the advice of an attorney. Attorneys in the Hackensack area who have gone through a divorce themselves can provide a unique understanding of the emotional challenges a divorce brings, and they can help clients develop an effective strategy as they work through their divorce legal issues.


FindLaw Network