3 FAQs about the impact of marital misconduct during a divorce

On Behalf of | Aug 4, 2023 | Divorce |

Regardless of the length of a marriage, people change. Those changes often lead to divorce.

Although some marriages survive a marital affair, others simply cannot bounce back. When an affair plays a key role in a divorce, the non-cheating spouse may wonder what effect it may have on the divorce’s outcome.

1. Will marital misconduct affect the division of property?

In Minnesota, the judge must consider many factors to determine an equitable distribution of property and assets. Typically, an affair does not factor into that equation. Although cheating does not mean losing out on a fair share, the affair may come into play if the couple settles out of court or has a prenuptial agreement that includes infidelity penalties.

2. Could an affair lead to a marital asset dissipation claim?

The courts do factor in marital asset dissipation. This involves one spouse consciously spending too much money, selling off assets, hiding assets, or giving away marital property. If proven, money spent on the affair may result in the offending spouse having to reimburse those funds in some manner.

3. Will adultery factor into child custody?

Minnesota judges must follow specific guidelines when determining child custody and support. In most cases, a judge will want to ensure a 50/50 split of time spent with each parent. While many nuances of the specific case may factor in, an affair typically does not. The court makes judgments based on the best interest of a child. That may change if a spouse’s new partner has a history of abuse.

While an affair may leave a lasting mark, it typically does not mean getting more out of the divorce settlement.