How Does Adultery Impact a New York Divorce?

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Today, many marriages come to an end due to adultery. If your spouse has committed adultery, you are likely looking into your various divorce options. You may also be wondering whether adultery will impact your divorce proceedings. Read on to learn more about divorce in New York and the ways in which adultery may affect the outcome.

What are New York’s Grounds for Divorce?

Spouses in New York can either cite “fault” or “no-fault” grounds as reasoning for their divorce. In the event of physical separation for 18 consecutive months or more, or irreconcilable differences for at least a year, spouses may choose to cite no-fault grounds. Alternatively, fault grounds may be cited when a spouse commits actions that are considered misconduct, which includes adultery.

Do I Have to Cite Fault Grounds if My Spouse Committed Adultery?

It is important to know when a spouse commits adultery, it is not required to cite fault grounds in their divorce. In many cases, spouses will file for a no-fault divorce in order to maintain their privacy. When filing on fault grounds, you may have to provide proof that this misconduct occurred. Additionally, these fault grounds can become public record. To avoid this, many couples choose to file for a no-fault divorce, even in the case where one spouse may be to blame. They may also choose to take part in other methods such as mediation, arbitration, or collaborative divorce to allow themselves more privacy. Every divorce is different, so it is important to find the process that best suits your situation. 

How Can Adultery Impact Divorce Proceedings?

There are several factors that go into the conclusions of divorce proceedings, making each case different from one another. Some of these factors include the length of the marriage, whether you have children together, and so on. The following are a few ways adultery may impact this:

  • Division of Assets: The equitable distribution of marital property is not impacted by the grounds on which you file. 
  • Alimony and spousal support: It is possible for a spouse who committed adultery to be awarded less or be required to pay more in alimony. 
  • Child custody: Marital misconduct may impact custody if it was potentially harmful to the child in any way. 
  • Child support: This could be affected by adultery through a trickle-down effect after receiving less parenting time because of the child custody agreement.

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