How does adultery affect children and finances?

Divorce|April 30th 2015

In the second video of the series, Stowe Family Law Senior Partner Marilyn Stowe talks about how adultery affects a divorce settlement.

When adultery has caused a marriage to irretrievably break down, people can often worry about the impact it will have on their divorce. Some of these issues were discussed in the previous video.

More specifically, people are often concerned that, if they are the party who has committed adultery, they may receive less in the financial settlement or, even worse, may lose out on time with their children.

While understandable, such worries are not rooted in the reality of family law. Once it has been established that the marriage has broken down and divorce proceedings have begun, the courts are not particularly concerned with the events which led to the split.

The court’s primary concern when dealing with the financial aspects of divorce is need. What does each spouse need going forward? Where will they live? How will they pay for it? Will one spouse require financial assistance to meet those needs? All of these are pertinent questions. Which spouse was unfaithful is not.

There is a similar attitude when it comes to the care of any children the couple may have. Just because one partner (or possibly both) has committed adultery, their ability to parent a child has not been affected. Who the children live with and how much they see of each parent is determined by other factors altogether.

So while adultery unquestionably has an enormous impact on a marriage, it has very little effect on the divorce process itself.

Photo by Philip Brewer via Flickr

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