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What impact can adultery have on an Indiana divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2024 | Divorce

Adultery is a common and painful form of betrayal. Someone who has promised to love and be faithful to their spouse forever breaks that promise by beginning an intimate relationship with someone else. As such, adultery has long been one of the top reasons that people file for divorce.

Those who uncover marital infidelity often do not want to risk their physical and mental health or their finances by staying in their marriage. They may wonder what impact adultery could potentially have on their Indiana divorce proceedings.

Adultery isn’t actually grounds for divorce

Indiana still allows people to pursue fault-based divorces. In such cases, people present evidence to convince the courts that the divorce filing is the fault of one spouse. Indiana does law allow fault-based divorces in cases involving criminal convictions, impotence or incurable insanity, but adultery does not warrant a fault-based divorce. Those divorcing due to infidelity usually need to pursue no-fault divorce filings.

Misconduct often does not influence divorce outcomes

Contrary to what many people expect or assume, the law in Indiana does not permit judges to consider misconduct when ruling on major divorce matters in a no-fault filing. Evidence of infidelity usually does not impact determinations about custody or financial support obligations. Property division proceedings do not factor in fault in most cases. However, there is one exception that may apply after an affair. If the spouse who uncovered the infidelity can prove that their spouse spent marital resources on the extramarital affair, the courts may consider the dissipation of marital assets when making property division determinations.

Emotions can complicate divorce proceedings

The discovery of an extramarital affair is a betrayal that can lead to trauma responses in some people. Heightened emotions are common during divorces involving extramarital affairs. Spouses may have a more difficult time settling matters and feeling comfortable with the outcome of court proceedings because of what they have experienced.

Someone who is unsure of how to proceed after discovering that their spouse has cheated may need to learn more about Indiana’s divorce statutes. They can gather appropriate evidence if there has been financial misconduct and prepare to rebuild after the divorce. Having realistic goals when initiating a divorce may help people minimize expenses and maximize their satisfaction with the process.

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