I Cheated on My Spouse: How Screwed am I in a New Jersey Divorce?
Although humanity likes to pretend that it is civilized and logical, we are also capable of completely unpredictable and reckless acts. These wild and unpredictable acts are extremely common during relationships, as love can make even the most rational individuals act erratically. If you have cheated on your spouse, you might be wondering how this will impact your divorce. Will you get the “short end of the stick,” so to speak? Will a judge punish you for your actions? How can you mitigate these consequences and strive for the best possible legal outcome?
The first step is always to hire a qualified, experienced family law attorney in New Jersey. Regardless of what you may have done in the past, you can expect an attorney to treat you with respect and dignity. Enlist the help of one of our legal professionals, and you can move forward with confidence.
New Jersey Does Not Consider Extramarital Affairs in Divorce Cases
For the most part, you can breathe a sigh of relief if you are worried about the impact of your infidelity on your divorce. This is because New Jersey does not even consider extramarital affairs when handling virtually every aspect of divorce cases. This is a stark contrast to states like North Carolina, which can punish spouses who have cheated. In the Tar Heel State, spouses may lose their ability to receive alimony if they engage in adultery. Adulterers can also be sued in many states through a so-called “heartbalm tort.”
Exceptions to the Rule
While it is true that you do not really have to worry about these issues if you live in New Jersey, there are a few notable exceptions to the rule. Perhaps most notably, you may run into issues if you spent a lot of money on your illicit affair during the marriage. If you spent money on things like gifts, private vacations, and other expenses directly tied to the extramarital affair, this could impact the property division process in your divorce. A judge might factor these expenses in when dividing property, which means that you could walk away from your marriage with less money compared to someone who did not cheat.
Although this is quite rare, child custody may also be impacted by your affair. When it comes to child custody, a judge always puts the best interests of the child first. This means that they will consider how the affair has impacted the child. If you continue the relationship with your illicit partner after the marriage has ended, the judge might consider whether the presence of this new partner has a negative impact on the child’s psychological or physical well-being. This can affect your ability to retain custody.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified, Experienced Attorney Today
If you have been searching the New Jersey area for a family law attorney, look no further than Giro, LLP, Attorneys at Law. We have the resources to help you strive for a positive legal outcome, regardless of what you might have done during your marriage. Although cheating can certainly pose unique challenges for your divorce, we can help. Reach out and book your consultation today.