Getting a divorce can be messy. There are several factors that come into play on so many levels, including feelings of anger, hurt and grief. When you add to those situations where children are involved, things can get even more challenging. The lawyers at Remington & Dixon have handled many cases like these and know how infidelity can affect divorce, whether it was you who was unfaithful or your spouse.
The fact is, when you are unfaithful to your spouse, it can, indeed, be used against you under family laws. This could mean you will have to pay additional alimony to your spouse, alimony that you would NOT have had to pay had infidelity had not been a factor.
However, the judge will consider all the factors in your divorce proceedings. While your conduct during your marriage does carry a lot of weight, the judge will look at the entire picture and narrow down the reason(s) the marriage failed.
Grounds for Divorce in Charlotte, North Carolina
Although a cheating spouse is certainly the reason why many divorces end, the State of North Carolina does not recognize infidelity as grounds for a divorce case. There are two reasons a couple can divorce in North Carolina:
Incurable Insanity: This reason says that the spouse’s extremely unstable mental state will never be cured. To use this as a ground for divorce, you and your spouse must not live together for three years because of the mental state of your spouse.
Separation: The couple must not live together for a period of at least one full year without reconciling their marriage during that time.
The latter is the most common reason for divorce in North Carolina.
Three Key Areas Where Adultery Affects Divorce
Your behavioral conduct during your marriage can absolutely play a role in whether you must pay or can receive alimony. According to North Carolina state law, if your finances have been affected because of your divorce that was impacted by your spouse’s unfaithful acts, the judge may likely order the spouse to pay some amount of alimony. Those payments will end on a predetermined date or when you are deemed to be able to financially support yourself.
Child Support and Custody
Child support and custody can be directly affected in a divorce if a judge determines that the behavioral conduct of the spouse has a negative impact on the child. The judge may award full or primary custody to one parent and subsequently order more child support be paid by the adulterous spouse to support the financial needs of raising the child (or children). Additionally, custody can be affected if the behavioral conduct of the parent makes the child uncomfortable or if the child expresses that he/she does not want to cohabitate or spend time with the new lover/companion. Judges will take into consideration the age of the child(ren) and how the infidelity impacted them when making these decisions.
The assets will be divided in the divorce and in most circumstances, will not be awarded/divided based upon the behavioral conduct of the spouses during the marriage. There is, however, an exception.
If the finances of the marriage were impacted by the non-cheating spouse’s infidelity, the judge might award more assets/property to the affected spouse accordingly. For example, if a cheating spouse spent money on hotel rooms to support the affair or spent money on dinners, vacations, or gifts for the lover, the judge may take this into consideration when dividing property, assets, and other items in the divorce proceedings.
How a North Carolina Divorce Lawyer Can Help
If you find yourself amid a divorce or a possible divorce and infidelity is involved, a Charlotte family law attorney at Remington & Dixon can help. We represent our clients with the utmost respect and regard for their specific circumstances.
Divorce is difficult. No one gets married with thoughts of how the marriage will end. But when children are involved, along with feelings sadness, grief, loss and so many other feelings, divorce is even harder. A Charlotte Divorce Lawyer at Remington & Dixon will stand beside you from the moment your divorce case begins until the moment your divorce case ends.
Contact us today for a consultation. You are not alone, and we’ll support you through each step of the legal divorce process.
Jennifer is a founding partner at Remington & Dixon, PLLC. Jennifer concentrates her practice in the areas of family law, wills & estates, unemployment benefits appeals, and traffic. At Elon University School of Law, Jennifer was the vice president of the Public Interest Law Society and a member of the Family Law Society. During law school, Jennifer interned at the Elon University School of Law Field Placement Clinic with Legal Aid of North Carolina where she represented clients in domestic violence court proceedings.