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Effects of Adultery on a Divorce

Divorce can feel like a mini-world war and finding out about infidelity can leave a person reeling. Feelings are hurt, emotions are raised and the uncertainty of the future can be overwhelming. Whether the cause or the symptom, adulterous acts can have a big impact on the divorce.

Adultery can be hard to prove and you need supporting evidence acquired by a non-partial, credible third-party. A feeling or a belief that your spouse committed adultery is not enough proof. Private investigators can provide the independent evidence needed. Evidence can be in two forms: circumstantial or direct. Circumstantial evidence of a cheating spouse generally involves proving inclination and opportunity. Direct evidence involves getting actual photographic or video evidence of your spouse in the act of cheating.

Georgia is a “no-fault” divorce state. This means spouses are permitted to claim that the marriage is irretrievably broken without placing blame for the demise of the marriage on either one. However, a court may consider infidelity as it pertains to specific matters of the divorce settlement, including alimony, child custody and division of marital property. A 2010 Georgia Code states that “… A party shall not be entitled to alimony if it is established by a preponderance of the evidence that the separation between the parties was caused by that party’s adultery or desertion.”

Additionally, the expenses associated with the affair can be considered. If one spouse takes money away from the family for a purpose contrary to the family, that is called a misappropriation. Spending community money on a girlfriend or boyfriend, especially expensive gifts, paying for rent or mortgage, or vacations can be deemed a misappropriation for which the “injured” party is entitled to reimbursement for one half of the funds spent, possibly with interest, from the date of the misappropriation.


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